If you're uneasy with the thought of driverless cars, how about one that pushes 199 mph? Buckle up and meet Robocar, the world's first self-driving electric race car that definitely does not sounds like source material for a science-fiction horror film.
Self-driving cars are coming soon to a street near you, and there's nothing you can do about it. [Editor's note: we love the idea, we swear.] Already, automakers are looking at how to take the concept of autonomous vehicles further. Enter Robocar, the world's first self-driving electric race car, which made its debut at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2017. Created by the company Roborace, the car reaches speeds of 199 mph (320 kph), but that shouldn't make anyone nervous, right? Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Roborace and Charge, said that autonomous racing vehicles help create "an emotional connection to driverless cars and bring humans and robots closer together to define our future." It would also make for a really good Terminator movie, but we digress.
On second thought, Terminator isn't too far off. The designer of Robocar is Daniel Simon, and he actually designs vehicles for science-fiction films such as Tron: Legacy. "I've worked on a lot of cool stuff — Tron, Bugatti, Star Wars — but this takes the cake," Simon said onstage at MWC.
Robot On The Racetrack
It took less than a year to develop, but that's not to say Robocar isn't complex: it's bursting with ridiculously advanced tech. The race car uses the company Nvidia's Drive PX2 brain, which is an open AI car-computing platform that can handle 24 trillion AI operations per second. As Wired reports, the car is "powered by five LiDAR sensors; 18 ultrasonic sensors; six AI cameras and GNSS positioning and [...] uses deep learning for 360-degree situational awareness around the car, working to determine precisely where the car is and to create its trajectory."
Two Robocars are hitting the track later in 2017 to see how they fly in the real world. By the end of the year, Roborace will likely have a good idea about whether they should put the pedal to the metal on Robocar, or pump the brakes on driverless speed demons.