Roborace aims to be the first global championship for fully electric, autonomous cars.
Roborace the first championship for autonomous cars, featuring electrically powered, autonomously driving Roborace-cars. Lucas DiGrassi, the 2016 - 2017 Formula E champion is the company's CEO. All teams will use the same chassis and powertrain and so will be physically iderntical, but the difference is the driver's. Team's will develop their own AI's (artificial technology's) and computing algorithims.
Robocar, the worlds first purpose-built autonomous racecar, was designed by Tron: Legacy and Oblivion vehicle designer Daniel Simon. The 2011 HRT Formula One car was also designed by Simon. Roborace's official internal computing processors (Drive PX 2) are Nividia and tyres are supplied by Michelin.
Aerodynamic efficiency is helped by the teardrop shaped chassis, and weighing 1350kg, powered by four electric motors, each rated at 135 kW producing 500hp combined you can bet they're pretty quick! So far the Robocar has shown capable of almost 300km/h (190mph). All that is powered by a 840V battery. The cars are around 4.8 metres (16 ft) long and 2 metres (6.6 ft) wide. They navigate the track through use of a mixture of radars, ultrasonic sensors and optical systems.
WIRED MAGAZINE: Roborace, the global motorsports series, created by UK VC fund Kinetik, is set to launch next year as part of Formula E, the all-electric racing series now in its second season. Roborace, which just unveiled the design for its race cars, is meant to promote autonomous driving and offer software developers a high-profile, competitive venue for honing their work.
The teams will share hardware—everyone gets the same car—but develop their own software. After all, that’s the stuff that matters when it comes to navigating a crowded track at speeds nearing 200 mph.
The car is the work of Daniel Simon, a designer who started a conventional career at Volkswagen’s empire, working for Audi, Bentley, and Bugatti. He’s spent the past decade doing his own thing, styling liveries for Formula One cars and working as a consultant folks for like Disney. If you’ve seen his work, it’s likely in a movie theater: Simon created vehicles for films like Prometheus, Captain America, and Tron Legacy.
It’s a fitting CV for a job that involves self-driving race cars. Automakers have started to address the idea of how taking the wheel from humans might change how cars are built, but this takes the extra step of taking the human out of the picture altogether. It’s a very cool-looking future.
TOP GEAR MAGAZINE: The dramatic bodywork shouldn’t be too much of surprise given that the Chief Design Officer is Daniel Simon, a man whose past includes the creation of the futuristic vehicles in the Hollywood blockbuster Tron: Legacy. “My goal was to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty,” said Simon. “Racing engineers and aerodynamicists have worked with me from the beginning to strike that balance. “It was important to us that we generate substantial downforce without unnecessary parts cluttering the car,” he continued. “This is largely made possible by using the floor as the main aerodynamic device and we are currently developing active body parts that are more organic and seamless than solutions today.”
THE VERGE MAGAZINE: The autonomous race cars in the upcoming Roborace driverless racing series will use Nvidia’s Drive PX 2 supercomputer as a brain. The PX 2, which was announced back at CES in January, uses 12 CPU cores to produce eight teraflops of computing power and 24 trillion operations a second. It can combine information from a wide array of sensors, including radar, LIDAR, cameras, GPS, and high-definition maps. Roughly translated, that means it’s a very, very smart car. Driving on a known entity like a race track should make things a little easier for the car, but since they’ll be trying to get to the finish line as fast as possible — 20 cars will compete in a one-hour race — it’s not nearly as simple as driving down the highway. Nvidia has been aggressively developing its autonomous driving tech and its CES keynote this year focused heavily on the topic. Getting involved with Roborace serves up a great publicity platform for the company, and operating in a controlled environment like a race track could act as a strong development testbed for the Drive PX 2.”