In 2017, a new series of racing robots will start.
According to Roborace, the battery-powered prototype can reach speeds of up to 350 km/h.
The “Roborace” series is scheduled to start in 2017 and will feature 10 autonomous vehicles competing on the same track.
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.
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.”
“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.”
“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.
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.”
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.”
“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.
“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.”