Roborace has completed the first official autonomous hillclimb at Goodwood by a race car, with Robocar successfully navigating the 1.16mile course using artificial intelligence. The run is the first ever to take place at Goodwood Festival of Speed by a vehicle that has no human driver – a huge milestone for the event in its 25th anniversary year.
Robocar uses a variety of sensors located around the car to give it a 360-degree vision of its environment. The information provided by these sensors give Robocar the ability to localize its position on the hill and detect drivable surfaces and objects using deep neural networks.
Roborace are also giving the public attending the event a chance to experience this historical run from the perspective of the Robocar in a fully immersive VR simulator in Goodwood’s Future Lab.
“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.”
Robocar, the world’s first autonomous race car, was designed by Daniel Simon, the automotive futurist known for his work in Hollywood films such as Oblivion and Tron: Legacy. The vehicle weighs 1,350 kg and is powered by four 135kW electric motors used to drive each wheel, for a combined 500-plus hp. An Nvidia Drive PX2 computer processes Robocar’s data, which includes inputs from the LiDar, radar, GPS, ultrasonic, and camera sensors.
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.