Roborace unveils season one autonomous race car

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Roborace has unveiled its driverless electric racing car – “The Robocar”. Present at the unveiling were Denis Sverdlov, Roborace CEO alongside Daniel Simon, Roborace chief design officer, who provided a keynote address on the evolution of autonomous vehicles showing.

“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,” explained Denis Sverdlov, Roborace CEO. “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.”

The car, designed by Daniel Simon, weighs 975kg and measures 4.8m long and 2m wide. It has four 300kW motors, a 540kW battery, is predominantly made of carbon fibre and will be capable of speeds over 320kph (200mph). 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,” added Daniel Simon, Roborace chief design officer. “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.”

Roborace is set to provide 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 ‘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,” stated Rob Csongor, vice-president and GM of automotive for Nvidia.

Michelin are the series’ official tire partner using the Roborace platform to develop their own next-generation road tires that will be capable of handling the speeds and rigours of a new format of driving. The tires 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,” added Pascal Couasnon, Michelin motorsport director.

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.

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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