The technology firm Roborace’s autonomous race car, Robocar, will take on the famous 1.16-mile Goodwood Festival of Speed track this weekend, guided only by automated systems.
The vehicle will be tasked with navigating hay bales, flint walls and forests on the Goodwood estate, using a variety of sensors that give it 360-degree machine vision around the race car.
It follows last year’s appearance where Robocar appeared in the Festival of Speed’s Future Lab, which the organisers say makes it “the natural challenger to try and become the first autonomous racing car to complete the iconic run.”
In addition to the historic run, visitors to the Festival of Speed will also be able to enjoy the hillclimb from the Robocar’s point of view in a custom, fully immersive VR experience in the Roborace booth, located inside Future Lab.
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. The vehicle weighs 1,350 kg and is powered by four 135kW electric motors used to power each wheel, for a combined 500-plus hp. An NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 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 is led by ARRIVAL, the automotive technology company.
The organisers say the autonomous run presents a milestone for the Goodwood event as the Festival of Speed celebrates its 25th anniversary, having been staged every summer since 1993.