A Roborace prototype has achieved a huge technological landmark as the first ever driverless race car to complete Goodwood's hill climb without a driver on board
Friday the 13th may remain unlucky for some, but the infamous date proved victorious for Roborace’s Robocar. The innovative design can now lay claim as the first ever driverless car to successfully complete the Hillclimb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
An absolute first in the history of Goodwood by completing the course with no human driver in the car. It’s a huge accomplishment during the Festival’s milestone 25th anniversary year.
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Visitors to Goodwood over the weekend will also get the chance to see the feat first-hand again, as Robocar will be attempting the Hillclimb on both Saturday and Sunday.
The electric race car impressed engineers and attendees alike, employing a variety of sensors located around the vehicle provides a 360-degree visionary tract, allowing the Robocar to read its environment and drive under its own power.
Information delivered by these sensors gives Robocar the aptitude to concentrate its position on the hill’s surface, detecting drivable terrain and objects using deep neural networks.
Roborace's lofty ambitions didn't reach as far as a Goodwood speed record however, as the Robocar's pace was limited to 120kph (74mph).
‘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,’ said Rod Chong, Deputy CEO of Roborace.
‘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.’
‘It is an enormous achievement for a race car to complete the very first run of the hill using only artificial intelligence,’ said Charles Gordon-Lennox, the Duke of Richmond and Founder of the Festival of Speed.
‘Roborace has worked incredibly hard in order to pull this off and we are excited for the public to see them in action over the Festival weekend.’
Festival of Speed guests can also experience this historical run from the perspective of Robocar in the FoS Future Lab. Located on the Goodwood lawn, inside the technological exhibition, Roborace is offering visitors the chance to try out a fully immersive VR simulator.
Robocar, the world’s first fully-autonomous race car, was designed by Daniel Simon, the automotive futurist known for his work in recent Hollywood films such as Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.
Weighing in at 1350kg, powered by four 135kW electric motors – one per wheel – for a combined power output exceeding 500bhp, an NVIDIA DRIVE PX2 computer processes Robocar’s data, which includes inputs from the LiDar, radar, GPS, ultrasonic, and camera sensors.
Teams will then be able to 'code' their own drivers, adding their Artificial Intelligence to the vehicle (installation of James Hunt-style playboy behavior optional).
The FoS Future Lab is open to the public throughout the Festival, which runs from July 12 – 15 2018, 7am – 7pm each day.