Sorry, Race Car Drivers; Roborace’s Self-Driving Car Doesn’t Need You


February 28, 2017

Part of being a racing fan is rooting for your favorite drivers and teams. It’s tough to imagine racing void of the human element, but imagining might not be necessary much longer.

Roborace, the first autonomous-vehicle racing series, revealed its Robocar driverless race car Monday at the 2017 Mobil World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, according to Motor Trend. The Robocar joins Roborace’s prototype DevBot as vehicles that could be racing during the second half of season three of Formula E.

The futuristic racer weighs approximately 2,150 pounds and is powered by four 300-kilowatt electric motors, according to Motor Trend. The  vehicle reportedly can reach speeds approaching 200 mph, despite being roughly 600 pounds heavier than a Formula 1 car.

The Robocar’s brain is powered by the Nvidia Drive PX 2 supercomputer, which reportedly has the ability to run 24 trillion operations per second. The vehicle’s sense of direction is made possible by a variety of impressive technology, including five lidar and two radar arrays, six artificial intelligence cameras and 18 ultrasonic sensors.

It’s important to note that Roborace will be a spec series, meaning that while the hardware of participating vehicles is mandated, the software will be developed by teams, according to Motor Trend. This presents a great challenge for teams to develop software capable of leading their vehicles to victory. Given the Robocar’s amazing potential, however, it’s likely a challenge teams are eager to take on.

Thumbnail photo via Roborace

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