Lucas Di Grassi is one of the most well respected racers on the planet. He’s raced in Formula 1, Formula E and a slew of other categories. Electric car startup Arrival decided to use Di Grassi as the benchmark to test their autonomous driving efforts, by developing AI for the autonomous racing division known as RoboRace.
In a new video released but Arrival, we get a great insight into the work being done by Arrival to go after this challenge of developing a car that works like a human, that doesn’t rely on HD Maps or LiDAR.
The ‘Lucas challenge’ came about as a bet between Denis Sverdlov, Founder and CEO, Arrival and Lucas Di Grassi. This challenge would see the company invest serious engineering effort in developing a race car that could outperform a human around a race track.
The video breaks down the steps and set backs the team went through in developing autonomous driving systems for their cars. There’s a number of correlations to AI step changes like AlphaZero that taught itself how to play the game, rather than specific instruction sets found in traditional software design.
While cars racing around a circuit without driver’s may not be interesting to all, the goal here is to progress autonomous driving with the theory that navigating environments at road speeds would be easy by comparison.
It’s a great video that runs for 15 minutes and if you’re into racing, electric or autonomous cars, I highly recommend you take a look.