No driver required: Here's your first look at Roborace's self-driving Robocar
- Author: Patricia Jimenez Feb 28, 2017,
Feb 28, 2017, 0:35
As such, this vehicle is laden with aids to help its programming see what's going on around it: six AI cameras, five LIDAR arrays, two radar arrays, 18 ultrasonic sensors, two optical speed sensors and GNSS positioning. The auto was designed by Daniel Simon, Roborace chief design officer and previously responsible for vehicles featured in Hollywood blockbusters like Tron: Legacy and Oblivion. "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 of our determination".
The final Robocar is powered by four motors weighing 154 pounds (70 kg) with 300 kilowatts of power each, and a 540-kilowatt battery providing juice to its all-wheel drive during the race.
The auto was revealed by Roborace CEO Denis Sverdlov and the company's chief design officer Daniel Simon during a keynote address on the evolution of autonomous vehicles. "It's a great feeling to set this free". Charge, an electric truck company from the United Kingdom, is providing the power electronics and motors for the Robocar.
Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter. Drive PX 2 uses deep learning for 360-degree situational awareness around the auto, to determine precisely where the vehicle is and to compute a safe, efficient trajectory. An Nvidia Drive PX2 acts as the car's brain, which will be programmed by each team's engineers and allow up to 24 trillion A.I. operations per second.
To be clear, these are not remote-controlled cars. Once the brains are placed in the auto, the engineers no longer have any control over the vehicle.
"Roborace now provides us with a unique opportunity to apply our expertise and knowhow to the world of autonomous cars". Only the software will be different.
The Robocar will be used in Roborace's fully self-driving competitions, with two cars expected to compete head-to-head later this year.
While the first unofficial Roborace took place earlier this month on the streets of Buenos Aires, the auto in use was the Devbot, which features a cabin where a driver could sit in during test sessions to help collect data from the vehicle. Instead, engineers and programmers will compete to develop the best self-driving auto software to make it round the track in the fastest time. Dubbed "the Robocar", It will hit the track in demonstrations later this year, although it's still unclear when the green flag will drop on the Roborace series itself.