Roborace, the firm hoping to kick-start the world of driverless motor racing has demonstrated its self-driving RoboCar on a public track for the first time.
The vehicle completed a lap of the Paris ePrix circuit ahead of the city’s 2017 Formula E race, which took place on 2Oth May.
The demonstration saw the car – which is designed to be capable of speeds of upto 200mph – negotiate its way at low speed around 14 turns of the 1.9km circuit without a human in the vehicle entirely self-driven by autonomous software.
Roborace CEO Denis Sverdlov hailed the demonstration as a major milestone in the development of autonomous racing: “Roborace is the only company in the world right now testing driverless technologies on city streets without a human in the car – this is something truly unique.”
Designed by Daniel Simon, who has created vehicles for Hollywood sci-fi blockbusters including Tron Legacy and Oblivion, the vehicles weighs 1000kg , is driven by four 300kW motors, and powered by a 540kW battery. It 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’s open A.I. platform allows 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” to ensure all efforts will be focused on advancing the software for everyday road cars to adopt.
Roborace has said that it will continue to perform demonstrations at Formula E events during the remainder of the season.