The week the internet is full of videos from the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed. In 2018, something special happened, Roborace the soon to be racing category for engineers, not drivers, completed the hillclimb without a driver.
The first-ever autonomous race car to complete the hillclimb marks an important milestone in the development of driverless racing cars which will drive innovation in driverless production cars.
While the 1.8km run isn’t the most technically challenging for human drivers, a car driving itself at speed around any track (or hillclimb) is impressive. Technically, the all electric car runs on NVidia’s Drive PX 2 platform which is fed by an array of cameras and sensors.
It’s important to recognise the challenge here, there are no white lines to track to, many sections of the course are covered by trees, meaning that Robocar can’t simply rely on GPS signal for localization, instead leveraging AI to ensure it accelerates, brakes and turns optimally through the course, while keeping everyone safe.
The Duke of Richmond and Founder of the Festival of Speed, Charles Gordon-Lennox said,
“Roborace plays an important role in the future of mobility, challenging public perceptions and providing a platform to advance new technologies.
This makes them the perfect partner to undertake this significant feat.”
To commemorate the historic accomplishment, the entire run was recorded with a 360 camera system mounted on the fuselage of Robocar. The content was captured for Robocar VR, a custom virtual reality experience debuting inside the Future Lab at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018.
Watch the 360 video below.
Now here’s the external version.