Roborace debuts on street circuits in Marrakech

Autonomous car revolution

In 2017, a new series of racing robots will start.

Autonomous car revolution

Autonomous car revolution

Autonomous car revolution

According to Roborace, the battery-powered prototype can reach speeds of up to 350 km/h.

Autonomous car revolution

The “Roborace” series is scheduled to start in 2017 and will feature 10 autonomous vehicles competing on the same track.

Autonomous car revolution

The car successfully completed the Formula E ePrix circuit in Marrakech in November. During the ePrix weekend, the all-electric racing series will feature robot races.

Autonomous car revolution

The car was developed by a small team of engineers and programmers. “With this machine, we have several types of sensors,” Sergey Malygin, AI developer Roborace, told CNN. “First of all, these are laser measurements – based on light, so we have information about the three-dimensional objects around us.”

Autonomous car revolution

“We also have cameras, radars, ultrasound to get information about other vehicles and base stations,” continues Malygin. “We also have precision positioning systems and optical speed sensors.”

Autonomous car revolution

“It takes a lot of processing power to get this information inside (the car), process it and get valuable insight into what’s going on around us,” explains Malygin. The raw data is then decoded by algorithms that tell the car where the walls are and where other cars are on the road.

Autonomous car revolution

Roborace engineer Matas Simonavičius says that each wheel is individually driven, which ensures greater stability and safety.
“One engine drives one wheel,” Simonavichus told CNN. “That way you can control the vector of torque – you can have much better control over the power delivered to the wheels, how they move and the performance they put out. It’s more advanced than conventional ABS stability control.”

Autonomous car revolution

But are self-driving cars really that good?
“I think so,” says Simonavičius. “What is the main cause of accidents at the moment? It’s the human factor.”

Autonomous car revolution

“That’s why we want to move this car to a controlled environment where you can’t hurt anyone and you can prove that it works,” Simonavičius says.

Autonomous car revolution

“We are trying to change the way people look at him. So that they can see him at the races, see that he is safe and does all these cool things.”