Have you ever imagined Formula One but without the drivers? That’s soon becoming a reality with the world’s first driverless electric race car, Robocar. The self-driving, all-electric machine was officially unveiled by Roborace during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
The car was penned by ‘automotive futurist’ Daniel Simon – designer of futuristic vehicles in Tron Legacy and Oblivion. It has four electric motors, each generating 400 hp and they are all collectively juiced by a 540kW battery. It weighs just 975kg, making it lighter than the base-level Perodua Myvi, and is capable of reaching speeds of up to 320km/h while on Michelin road tyres!
The logic controlling this car is the Nvidia Drive PX2, a computer capable of reasoning up to 24 trillion artificial intelligence operations per second. Per second! Several high tech gizmos are used to aid driving, comprised of five LIDARs (Light Detection and Ranging by laser impulses), two radars, 18 ultrasonic sensors, two optical speed sensors, six AI cameras and GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System).
The Nvidia is also capable of processing a 360-degree view that helps determine the car’s direction as well as preventing it from colliding into a wall or other Robocars.
Roborace is practically the grandest stage of motor racing for nerds. I mean, how much more appealing can computerised racing cars be to software engineers and tech freaks?
Before Roborace gets the green light to its own series, a series of extensive tests is required. However, the first Roborace will serve as a support race in the Formula E. On behalf of the squealing nerds out there, don’t worry, we’re squealing too.