Roborace Autonomous Racecar Specs Revealed, NVIDIA Provides the Brains

Roborace car design 1 photo
Photo: Roborace / Daniel Simon
For those who were wondering about the specifications of the autonomous Roborace cars that will compete in the first driverless racing series in the world, I am much obliged to tell them to you. But first, let’s start with the brain of this thing.
The belly of the beast is an NVIDIA Drive PX 2 supercomputer. In other words, a liquid-cooled bruiser with 12 CPU cores (two 6-core Tegra processors), two Pascal GPUs, and 8 teraflops of processing power. Furthermore, the crazy fast computer for a crazy fast racecar can achieve 24 trillion operations a second.

In terms of dimensions, the Roborace autonomous racecar measures 190 inches (4.8 meters) in length, 78.7 inches (2 meters) in width, and 110 inches (2.8 meters) in wheelbase. This makes it shorter yet wider than a Formula E racecar.

Tipping the scales at 2,204 pounds (1,000 kilograms) makes the Roborace self-driving racecar heavier than a Formula E single-seater by 247 pounds (112 kilograms). Other physical bits and bobs that enhance the capabilities of the Roborace racecar include 12 video cameras, radar, lidar, and ultrasonic sensors. The data provided by this hardware is fused together, allowing the car to understand what is going on around it.

There is still no word on the output of the electric motor(s), although the company that owns Roborace and builds the cars has suggested that we should look forward to a top speed in excess of 186 miles per hour. That's the equivalent of 300 kilometers per hour, which is fast enough even by Formula 1 standards.

Ten teams and twenty cars have entered the inaugural season of Roborace, the support series of Formula E. A single detail will make the difference between one team’s race cars compared to another’s. More specifically, the software will be the make-or-break factor in this racing series. As a brief refresher for those unfamiliar with the subject, Montreal will be hosting the first Roborace fixture in September 2016.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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