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 have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

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 - 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.




Glickenhaus 007 Le Mans hypercar to receive twin-turbocharged V8

8 Jun 2020

Prodrive opens restoration service for its iconic competition cars

28 Nov 2019

Track-only BMW M2 CS Racing unveiled 

6 Nov 2019

Ford Bronco R prototype to enter the Baja 1000

5 Nov 2019

Most Popular


BMW M2 CS 2020 review – there's plenty to worry a Porsche Cayman GT4

The most enjoyable and rewarding M car to drive for quite some time. Potentially, a future classic.
31 Jul 2020
Ford Focus RS

Mountune Ford Focus RS M520 2020 review – less hot hatch, more Group B throwback

The idea of a 500-horse Focus won’t be for everyone, but for the rest it’s a glorious dose of internal combustion madness
31 Jul 2020

BMW M3 GTS vs Mini GP vs Renault Sport Mégane R26.R

You could spend £250,000 on a 700bhp hardcore machine, but is there just as much fun to be had – if not more – with less power and for less outlay?
1 Aug 2020

UK speeding fines explained

Speeding fines were increased in spring 2017, with harsher penalties for the worst offenders. Here's everything you need to know...
27 Jul 2020