There's nothing like a throw-down to push new technologies out to the masses. A team of high-tech gearheads is applying that age-old adage to self-driving cars, with plans to launch a new motorsport that will pit robotic cars head-to-head on long, winding racetracks. Roborace--which refers both to the sport and its organizer--wants to create an autonomous version of Formula 1 racing, where the superstars are computer programmers whose code unleashes the speed, precision and efficiency needed to take the checkered flag. A key by-product of those victories: innovations that accelerate the path of driverless passenger cars to market. Roborace's plan to be the first championship for autonomous cars has a lot going for it, although also plenty of speed bumps to negotiate.
A self driving robotic racing car is set to take on the world's best human drivers at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The Roborace car, which is powered by four 135kW electric motors and uses an artificial intelligence driver, will drive up the event's 1.16-mile hillclimb course, famed for its tight turns, hay bales, flint walls and forests. It has previously raced city circuits around the world as part of the Formula E race series. The Roborace car, which is powered by four 135kW electric motors and uses an artificial intelligence driver, will drive up the event's 1.16-mile hillclimb course, the first time an autonomous vehicle has been allowed to compete'We are excited that the Duke of Richmond [FoS founder] has invited us to make history at Goodwood as we attempt the first ever fully - and truly - autonomous uphill climb using only artificial intelligence,' said Lucas di Grassi, Roborace CEO. The automated driving system the Roborace car will use at Goodwood has been developed by automotive technology company Arrival.
Roborace, the firm hoping to kick-start the future of driverless racing, has released incredible footage taken inside one of its self-driving vehicles while in action. The cockpit footage was taken during the first full-speed, self-driven lap of the Formula E track in Berlin earlier this month. The car is seen hitting speeds of 124mph (200 km/h), and avoids colliding with the track walls. The Robocar weighs almost 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lbs), and measures 4.8 metres long (15.7 ft) and two metres wide (6.5 ft). Four motors, each with 300kW of power and a 540kW battery, allow the car to reach dizzying speeds of over 320kph (200mph).
The lights dimmed and a hush fell over the crowd. The last hour had been building to this. Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Roborace, and Daniel Simon, chief design officer, took a step back as some knee-high panels were taken away and a silky cloth was lifted, revealing a mechanical monster underneath. More than a year after the project's announcement, the pair had finally revealed their first production-grade Robocar: a fully electric, driverless race car built from the ground up for a new breed of motorsport. One where the heroes are programmers, concocting the smartest and most competitive AI drivers.
Roborace, the firm hoping to kick-start the future of driverless racing, has demonstrated its electric, 200-mile-per-hour (320km/h) self-driving car on a public track for the first time. The futuristic vehicle completed a lap of the Paris ePrix circuit ahead of the city's 2017 Formula E race, which took place on Saturday. The demonstration saw the car complete 14 turns of the almost 2 kilometre (1.2 mile) track while driven entirely by AI and sensors. The Robocar weighs almost 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lbs), and measures 4.8 metres long (15.7 ft) and two metres wide (6.5 ft). Four motors, each with 300kW of power and a 540kW battery, allow the car to reach dizzying speeds of over 320kph (200mph).