Roborace unveils world’s first driverless racing car
Posted: 27 February 2017 | By Michael Garwood
Roborace has today (Feb 27) revealed what it claims is the world’s first driverless electric racing car “The Robocar”, live on stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Denis Sverdlov, Roborace CEO alongside Daniel Simon, Roborace Chief Design Officer, unveiled the futuristic car during a keynote address on the evolution of autonomous vehicles.
“This is a huge moment for Roborace as we share the Robocar with the world and take another big step in advancing driverless electric technology,” said Sverdlov.
” I am so proud of the entire team and our partners and particularly the work Daniel [Simon] has done creating this beautiful machine. It was very important for us that we created an emotional connection to driverless cars and bring humans and robots closer together to define our future. The progress with Devbot on track and building the Robocar in less than a year has been extraordinary and we cannot wait to continue the journey of learning with the Robocar.”
As mentioned, the car has been designed by Simon, who in addition to Roborace, has created futuristic vehicles for some of Hollywood’s biggest sci-fi blockbusters including; Tron Legacy and Oblivion.
The new vehicle weighs 975kg and measures 4.8m long and 2m wide. It has 4 motors 300kW each, the 540kW battery is predominantly made of carbon fibre and will be capable of speeds over 320kph.
The car uses a number of technologies to ‘drive’ itself including 5 lidars, 2 radars, 18 ultrasonic sensors, 2 optical speed sensors, 6 AI cameras, GNSS positioning and is powered by Nvidia’s Drive PX2 brain, capable of up to 24 trillion A.I. operations per second to be programmed by teams’ software engineers using complex algorithms.
“Roborace opens a new dimension where motorsport as we know it meets the unstoppable rise of artificial intelligence. Whilst pushing the boundaries of engineering, we styled every single part of the Robocar. We take special pride in revealing a functional machine that stays true to the initial concept shared, a rarity in automotive design and a testament to our determination. It’s a great feeling to set this free.” Commented Simon.
Roborace provides an open A.I. platform for companies to develop their own driverless software and push the limits in an extreme and safe environment. The series is designed to be a competition of intelligence so all teams will use the same “Robocar” as revealed today.
The ‘brain’ of the Robocar is powered by NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2, which uses artificial intelligence to tackle the complexities inherent in autonomous driving. It utilises deep learning for 360-degree situational awareness around the car, to determine precisely where the car is and to compute a safe, efficient trajectory.
“Roborace and NVIDIA today push the boundary to accelerate the development of deep learning systems for safer passenger and commercial vehicles.” added Rob Csongor, Vice-President & GM of automotive for NVIDIA.
To date, Roborace has been performing demonstrations with its more functional looking development cars, known as “Devbots”. In their last outing, the cars performed a world first as Roborace became the first company to put two driverless cars on display simultaneously on a custom-built city street track at Formula E’s ePrix in Buenos Aires. Roborace will continue to use DevBots for demonstrations and testing, introducing the Robocar into public displays during the remainder of 2017 with two Robocars taking to the track together later this year.