Roborace self-driving racer to take on Goodwood hill climb

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is well known for courting some of the world’s finest automobiles and high-performance machines. This year, something very different will be in attendance.

Roborace confirmed Tuesday that it will tackle Goodwood’s hill climb event with its self-driving electric race car, known as Robocar. The Robocar is different from the DevBot prototype we’ve seen in the past; Robocar is closer to a finished product and bears the design shown in the Robocar concept vehicle unveiled in 2017.

Robocar’s run will be the first time a self-driving car will enter the hill climb event, and it will have to maneuver the 1.16-mile course and make its way through hay bales, flint walls, and forests found on the Goodwood estate. In doing so, Robocar’s lidar, radar, GPS, ultrasonic, and camera sensors will be on full display. An Nvidia Drive PX 2 computer processes all of the data collected.

Don’t expect Robocar to simply crawl up the hill, either. Onboard are four electric motors working to deliver over 500 horsepower. Roborace itself simply provides the Robocar as an API (application programming interface) and then hands off the self-driving car to whomever to install their own driving algorithm. That honor this time will go to Arrival, another automotive technology company.

Roborace has big plans for the future with its self-driving racer. Eventually, the company will spawn a race series expected to coincide with Formula E. The cars will all feature identical hardware and electric powertrains, but teams will duke it out via algorithms to see who can create the quickest self-driving racer. It’s unclear when the inaugural race will take place.

Robocar will tackle the hill climb when the Festival of Speed opens in the United Kingdom on July 12. For more coverage on the event, head to our dedicated hub.

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