In a few days, the Goodwood Festival of Speed will kick off. The centrepiece of the event is the 1,86 km hill climb that serves as a racetrack. Exciting road and racecars driven by racing drivers current and retired compete in a timed run up the course. This year, one car will have no driver as Roborace tries to become the first company to attempt to run up the hill using a fully autonomous vehicle.

Full autonomy

The attempt will be made by the company’s Robocar, which uses a variety of sensors including LiDAR, radar, GPS, ultrasonic and camera sensors to give the model a 360-degree view of its surroundings. Goodwood represents a unique challenge as the car will have to avoid obstacles not usually encountered on racetracks, such as hay bales while also dealing with intermittent GPS reception.

Click here to see another exciting car that will compete at Goodwood.

Robocar features four electric motors; each produces 135 kW. The car weighs 1 350 kg… without driver. Robocar, the world’s first autonomous racecar, was designed by Daniel Simon, the automotive futurist known for his work in Hollywood films such as Oblivion and Tron.

In addition to the historic run, visitors be able to enjoy the hill climb from the Robocar’s point of view in a custom, fully immersive VR experience in the Roborace booth.

In their own words

Lucas di Grassi, CEO of Roborace, said: “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.”

According to Goodwood Festival of Speed founder and Duke of Richmond, Charles Gordon-Lennox, “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.”