Roborace has revealed the world's first driverless electric racing car - "The Robocar" - Denis Sverdlov, Roborace CEO alongside Daniel Simon, Roborace Chief Design Officer, unveiled the futuristic car during a keynote address on the evolution of autonomous vehicles showing how Roborace is a platform for the world's best engineers to advance the software that will change our roads for the better.
"This is a huge moment for Roborace as we share the Robocar with the world and take another big step in advancing driverless electric technology. I am so proud of the entire team and our partners and particularly the work Daniel has done creating this beautiful machine. It was very important for us that we created an emotional connection to driverless cars and bring humans and robots closer together to define our future. The progress with Devbot on track and building the Robocar in less than a year has been extraordinary and we cannot wait to continue the journey of learning with the Robocar." said Denis Sverdlov, Roborace CEO.
The car, designed by Daniel Simon, the automotive futurist who creates vehicles for Hollywood sci-fi blockbusters including Tron Legacy and Oblivion, weighs 975kg and measures 4.8m long and 2m wide. It has 4 motors 300kW each, 540kW battery, is predominantly made of carbon fibre and will be capable of speeds over 320kph. The car 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 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. 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." said Daniel Simon, Roborace Chief Design Officer.
Roborace provides an open A.I. platform with fixed hardware for 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" as revealed today. By ensuring the hardware is consistent all efforts will be focussed on advancing the software.
The Robocar provides a phenomenal platform for high profile brands to be part of the future and play a role in redefining tomorrow's cities through technology. The launch cars livery proudly displays global leaders Lego, Visa, DHL, Allianz, Nvidia, Charge and Michelin all companies redefining their industries for the future.
The 'brain' of the Robocar the NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 —uses artificial intelligence to tackle the complexities inherent in autonomous driving. It utilizes deep learning for 360-degree situational awareness around the car, to determine precisely where the car is and to compute a safe, efficient trajectory.
"Roborace and NVIDIA today push the boundary to accelerate the development of deep learning systems for safer passenger and commercial vehicles." said Rob Csongor, Vice- President & GM of automotive for NVIDIA.
Michelin are the series' official tyre partner using the Roborace platform to develop their own next-generation road tyres that will be capable of handling the speeds and rigours of a new format of driving. The tyres on the Robocar will also be used for everyday road cars as the series constantly looks to advance technology from the track directly on to our streets.
"At Michelin, we have always been committed to innovation and using global events and motorsport to take our products to the next level, Roborace now provides us with a unique opportunity to apply our expertise and knowhow to the world of autonomous cars. Michelin wants to help shape the future, not just be a part of it." said Pascal Couasnon, Michelin Motorsport Director.
Charge, an electric truck company from the UK are providing key components including the power electronics and motors for the Robocar, they are also the official electric truck partner of Formula E.
"Charge is extremely proud of its involvement with the series and developing key components for the Robocar. It is great to have a platform like Roborace to test our technology to the limits and apply those learnings to our electric trucks on the road." said Greg Forostovsky, Charge Director of Engineering.
To date Roborace has been performing demonstrations with its more functional looking development cars, known as "Devbots". In their last outing, the cars performed a world first as Roborace became the first company to put two driverless cars on display simultaneously on a custom-built city street track at Formula E's ePrix in Buenos Aires. Roborace will continue to use DevBots for demonstrations and testing, introducing the Robocar into public displays during the remainder of 2017 with two Robocars taking to the track together later this year.
Source and top image: Roborace
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Energy Independent Electric Vehicles 2017 on 27 - 28 Sep 2017 in TU Delft, Delft, Netherlands hosted by IDTechEx.