Roborace To Attempt First Ever Fully Autonomous Hill Climb At Goodwood

Autonomous Car

The Robocar will be the first driverless car to run up the 1.16-mile hill climb.

The record-breaking Nio EP9 won’t be the only electric car tackling the famous Goodwood hill climb next month. Technology firm Roborace has announced it will be attempting the first ever fully autonomous hill climb at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. The attempt will be made by Roborace’s fully electric racecar, the Robocar, which will take on the famous 1.16-mile track guided only by automated systems and sensors that give the car 360-degree vision.

It will be interesting to see if it can successfully navigate the course, since the autonomous racecar will have to avoid obstacles such as hay bales, flint walls and trees on the Goodwood estate. The Robocar features four electric motors providing a combined output of over 500 hp. It’s also equipped with LiDAR, radar and ultrasonic sensors as well as cameras and a GPS system, which is fed into a high-tech computer with an AI driver algorithm enabling the car to drive itself. "The Goodwood hill climb presents a real challenge for level 4/level 5 autonomous driving systems." said Sergey Malygin, Chief of Software and AI at Arrival.

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"It is a narrow track with complex geometry. Turns and hills with a great deal of tree coverage mean you can’t rely on GPS / RTK signal for localization. Use of all advanced sensors, including LiDARs and cameras with deep learning based computer vision methods are needed to perform well at this course.” Roborace's first run up the famous hill climb comes after it took centre stage at the Festival of Speed Future Lab at last year's event. “We are excited that the Duke of Richmond has invited us to make history at Goodwood as we attempt the first ever fully - and truly - autonomous uphill climb using only artificial intelligence,“ said Lucas di Grassi, CEO of Roborace.

This year, Roborace will return to Future Lab where visitors to the Festival of Speed will be able to view the hill climb from the Robocar’s point of view in a fully immersive VR experience. "I can't think of a more exciting way to celebrate our Silver Jubilee than to have Roborace attempt the first autonomous race car run up the hill," said Charles Gordon-Lennox, the Duke of Richmond and Founder of the Festival of Speed. 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.”

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