The future came a time ago. And that phrase takes on a new dimension in motorsport from the Roborace, a new category of autonomous vehicles sponsored by the International Automobile Federation and which will be organized by those responsible for electric Formula E.
The Roborace cars, which are called Robocars, will be 4.8 meters long and 2 meters wide with a wheelbase of 2.8 meters and a weight of about 1000 kilos. Thus, they will be slightly shorter than Formula E cars, but 20 centimeters wider. However, they will be 115 kg heavier than a racing car of the current FE even though they will not have a driver.
Roborace's partnership with NVIDIA will enable the use of DRIVE PX2 engines, among the world's most powerful for vehicles with artificial intelligence, as announced by Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder of NVIDIA, and Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Roborace, at the GPU Technology Conference, in Silicon Valley, California.
The DRIVE PX2s combine data from 12 cameras, in addition to radar, lidar (laser radar) and ultrasonic sensors, to assume everything necessary to act in the 360-degree environment around the vehicle.
Its processors and its two GPUs based on Pascal TM, allow up to 24 trillion actions per second, which are the indispensable instructions to operate the entire system.
The new series, which will be the Formula E support category, will have its first season alongside the electric series in the 2016/2017 season, including a 10-team grid with two cars each. The races will last a maximum of one hour during each e-Prix.