Fledgling autonomous racing series Roborace is giving its cars an upgrade. From 2018 the brains of the car will come in form of Nvidia’s DRIVE Pegasus AI. The platform is specially designed for full self-driving vehicles.
Nvidia has been on board with the project since April 2016. A key partner, they supplied the DRIVE PX 2 technology previously used. The switch to Pegasus marks a significant upgrade for the Robocars. Launched in October 2017, Pegasus is capable of more than ten times the performance of its predecessor. It can perform an impressive 320 trillion operations per second. Roborace boasts that this licence plate sized unit has the power of a 100 server data centre.
Roborace hopes to eventually evolve into a fully fledged racing series with all electric, all autonomous cars. Initially this will be a support series for the Formula E championship, the all electric racing series. The hope is a racing series will push forward autonomous technology that will benefit road cars in the future.
So far Roborace have limited the cars to a series of demonstration events. The latest, in early December took place in Hong Kong prior to a Formula E event. On that occasion the AI competed against Formula E pitlane reporter Nicki Shields to set the fastest time.
“Roborace will enable motorsport to play an increasingly significant role in the development of technologies which will improve driver performance and ultimately save lives on our roads,” said Bryn Balcombe, Chief Strategy Officer, Roborace. “Cognitive power will soon rival horsepower as an automotive performance measure and the NVIDIA DRIVE Pegasus sets a new benchmark which will enable Roborace to extend competitions well beyond the confines of traditional circuit racing.”
“Roborace is pushing the limits of AI technology and delivering autonomous driving experiences that have never been achieved before,” said Danny Shapiro, Senior Director of Automotive, NVIDIA. “The advances made with NVIDIA technology in motorsport will accelerate adoption of autonomous vehicles on public roads, making daily travel safer and more enjoyable.”
Roborace will be at CES 2018 which takes place in Las Vegas next week where they will be showing off the upgraded Robocar.