Roborace, the new self-driving car race league, has revealed its vision for the race car of the future.
Known as the Robocar, each race team will use the exact same machine to compete, though teams will be able to write the software algorithms that tells the car how to drive. The Robocar was designed be Daniel Simon, known for his work with futuristic Hollywood sci-fi cars like those that appeared in Tron Legacy and Oblivion.
Each Robocar weighs 2149 lbs (975 kg) and measures in at 15 feet (4.8m) long. Power comes from four 300 kW motors and a 540 kW battery, allowing the cars to reach a speed of over 198 mph (320 kph).
To be able to see the world around it, the Robocar uses five lidars, two radars, 18 ultrasonic sensors, two optical speed sensors, six artificial intelligence (AI) cameras, GNSS positioning and a powerful computer brain, the Drive PX2, provided by Nvidia. Each car is said to be able to make 24 trillion AI operations per second.
The organizers of the new series see it as a way to push the development of driverless cars, as for years, technology developed for the race track has made it into cars available to the public. “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,” said Daniel Simon, Roborace Chief Design Officer. “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. It’s a great feeling to set this free.”
Michelin will provide the tires for the Robocars, which will also be street-legal.
So far, only development cars have been run on tracks in demonstrations, though before the end of this year, two real Robocars will take to the track together.
The league has been running a documentary series that has been keeping track of the Robocar’s development. You can watch the most recent episode below.