New Roborace Robocar revealed – the world’s first driverless race car

Roborace series will create a platform for developing autonomous driving technology

A driverless electric race car hardly fits with evo’s mantra ‘The thrill of driving’, but we certainly wouldn’t disagree with the statement that racing improves the breed. It’s the latter statement that Roborace, the maker of the world’s first driverless race car, is following to help develop the future of automous driving.

Roborace has revealed its new car, the Robocar at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The new car will race against other autonomous Robocars in a series that has been created as a platform for software engineers and suppliers to develop software, technology and materials that will filter down into driverless road cars.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

The car itself, designed by Daniel Simon who has previously designed futuristic looking cars for sci-fi films like Tron Legacy and Oblivion, is 4.8 metres long, 2 metres wide and weighs 975kg. The body is made from carbonfibre and it houses four 300kW (402bhp) engines, one for each wheel. This will help the Robocar reach a top speed of over 198mph.

> Read about VW's plans for its autonomous vehicles

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The Robocar’s ability to be able to drive and race autonomously is made possible by its awareness of the environment that it’s in. The Robocar has five lidar sensors that detect distance using lasers, two radars, 18 ultrasonic sensors, two optical speed sensors, six AI cameras and a global satellite position system. The car’s on-board computer is able to process the data from the detection and positioning equipment up to 24 trillion calculations per second.

The software then uses this vast amount of information to plot the car’s best and most efficient trajectory around a track. This is where the racing element comes in; every team will develop their own driverless software to push the car to its limits. 

> All Teslas will soon be supplied with driverless technology  

Michelin will supply tyres for the Roborace series as it does in the Formula E series, the Robocar will use road legal tyres so there is a direct correlation with the information obtained during the races and the tyres eventually fitted to driverless road cars.

A collection of development cars, known as Devbots, have already taken to the track in a support race for the Buenos Aires round of the Formula E championship. Sadly, one of the cars crashed while trying to perform a manoeuvre on the circuit, but it wasn’t too badly damaged. The actual Robocars won’t take to the track until later this year and the Devbots will continue to perform demonstrations until then.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/racing/21916/glickenhaus-007-le-mans-hypercar-specs-uncovered
racing

Glickenhaus 007 Le Mans hypercar specs uncovered

12 Feb 2020
Visit/racing/202001/prodrive-opens-restoration-service-for-its-iconic-competition-cars

Prodrive opens restoration service for its iconic competition cars

28 Nov 2019
Visit/bmw/m2/201929/track-only-bmw-m2-cs-racing-unveiled
BMW M2

Track-only BMW M2 CS Racing unveiled 

6 Nov 2019
Visit/ford/201926/ford-bronco-r-prototype-to-enter-the-baja-1000
Ford

Ford Bronco R prototype to enter the Baja 1000

5 Nov 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/supercars/201980/maserati-confirms-future-plans-as-fcapsa-flagship
supercars

Maserati confirms future plans as FCA/PSA flagship

A new electric GranTurismo, Alfieri super sports car and revenue-grabbing SUV all detailed in Maserati’s grand plan
14 Feb 2020
Visit/ford/mustang/202231/1969-ford-mustang-mach-1-given-986bhp-twin-turbocharged-v8
Ford Mustang

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 given 986bhp twin-turbocharged V8

A pair of turbochargers and a modern Coyote V8 turn this ’69 Ford Mustang into a near four-figure quarter-mile hero 
13 Feb 2020
Visit/toyota/202232/250bhp-toyota-gr-corolla-hot-hatch-in-the-pipeline
Toyota Corolla

250bhp Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch in the pipeline

Following in the footsteps of the GR Yaris homologation special, Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division is to launch a hot Corolla
13 Feb 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019