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.

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

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.

Recommended

JRM GT23 revealed – a road-legal Nissan GT-R GT3 racer
JRM GT23 - front
Nissan

JRM GT23 revealed – a road-legal Nissan GT-R GT3 racer

British racing outfit JRM to build 23 road-legal GT-R GT3 racing cars
7 Apr 2021
Toyota GR Yaris AP4 rally car revealed
Toyota GR Yaris AP4 - cornering
Toyota GR Yaris

Toyota GR Yaris AP4 rally car revealed

Toyota Australia and engineering firm Neal Bates Motorsport have co-developed a competition-ready GR Yaris rally car
25 Mar 2021
BRM Type 15 continuation enters development – 12,000rpm V16 fires into life on video
Type 15 MK1 BRM V16
racing

BRM Type 15 continuation enters development – 12,000rpm V16 fires into life on video

One of history’s most ambitious F1 racing cars to be reborn to celebrate 70 years of the BRM V16
23 Mar 2021
Audi returns to WRC with A1 Quattro WRC2 rally car
Audi A1 Quattro WRC2 rally car - side
Audi A1

Audi returns to WRC with A1 Quattro WRC2 rally car

Audi will return to the World Rally Championship via EKS JC Racing
9 Mar 2021

Most Popular

This Brabus Mercedes-AMG E63 S is quicker than a GT Black Series
Brabus Mercedes-AMG E63 S
Mercedes E63 AMG

This Brabus Mercedes-AMG E63 S is quicker than a GT Black Series

Mercedes-AMG’s latest E63 S is one of the fastest saloons on our roads, but Brabus has turned up the wick a little more
6 May 2021
819bhp Ferrari 812 Competizione revealed in full – hardcore V12 GT returns
Ferrari 812 Competizione front
Ferrari 812 Superfast

819bhp Ferrari 812 Competizione revealed in full – hardcore V12 GT returns

Ferrari has confirmed its new 812 Superfast special edition is to be called Competizione, and will be joined by the Targa-roofed Competizione A
5 May 2021
Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R multifunction display – Art of Speed
Nissan R34 GT-R display
Nissan GT-R

Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R multifunction display – Art of Speed

The R34 GT-R came with Nissan’s interpretation of a games console crowning the dashboard. A gimmick? Big time, but entertaining all the same
4 May 2021