Landmark as driverless car wows crowds

Riley Riley

It was a landmark moment as a car without a driver at the wheel completed the famous hillclimb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Britain.

In fact, race organisers had to limit the speed of the robotic car to 120km/h, just so spectators could get a good look at the action as the car raced up the 1.9km long hill..

The world’s first autonomous race car, Robocar, was designed by Daniel Simon, the automotive futurist known for his work in Hollywood films such as Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

The vehicle weighs 1350 kg and is powered by four 135kW electric motors, one for each wheel, that deliver a combined output of more than 370kW.

An NVIDIA DRIVE PX2 computer processes Robocar’s data, which includes inputs from the LiDar, radar, GPS, ultrasonic, and camera sensors.

The information provided by these sensors gives Robocar the ability to localise its position on the hill and detect driveable surfaces and objects using deep neural networks.

“We are ecstatic that the team have been able to achieve this landmark run and we hope that it draws attention to the amazing advances that are being made in the automotive industry,” Deputy CEO of Roborace, Rod Chong, said.

“Robocar is an ambassador for the future technologies we will see on our roads and we hope that inspirational stunts like this will change public perceptions of autonomous vehicles.”

Roborace is the world’s first competition for human + machine teams, using both self-driving and manually-controlled cars.

It is providing a platform for the development of future automated driving technologies for the many companies, organisations and individuals in that sector.

Roborace provides the car with an API as a platform for teams who then add their AI driver algorithm to the vehicle.

Development of the automated driving system for the Robocar at Goodwood was led by ARRIVAL, the automotive technology company.

Checkout the action as Robocar takes on the hill.


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