Fact: Self-driving cars are getting closer to becoming an everyday reality. But few are aware that the quest to perfect electric, connected and autonomous technologies begins on the racetrack. Meet the Robocar, the world's first driverless electronic race car. With a futuristic design plus algorithms that deliver better than human-level performance, developers are changing the roads of the future—and making them look very cool, to boot.
The bodywork design is by Daniel Simon, an alum of Volkswagen and Formula One, who also consults for Disney. Likely you’ve seen his work in a movie theater: Simon created vehicles for films like Prometheus, Captain America and Tron Legacy.
While it doesn’t have any room for a driver, the Robocar carries plenty of sensors, which it uses to “see” the environment.
Programmers, not drivers, are the stars of the Roborace, a motorsport competition where race teams use identical cars (same powertrain and chassis, as well as the same basic self-driving software) that are controlled by customizable algorithms.
The Robocar is powered by four electric motors each 135 kilowatts producing 500 horsepower.
By partnering with Roborace, Michelin aims to develop a new generation of tires able to capture valuable information and make it available to the car’s monitoring systems.
The car’s “brain”—a Drive PX 2 supercomputer processor— produces eight teraflops of computing power, making it capable of executing 24 trillion operations a second.
Photography by: Courtesy of The Arsenal