Roborace wanted to show the gathered crowds that it had a car capable of driving itself up the hill at Goodwood, at speed. To do that, the autonomous race car company put YouTuber Seb Delanny in the cockpit to drive part of the way up the hill to an area I’m calling the “show-off zone” where most of the donuts and burnouts happen, where people line both sides of the track, where most of the action is. Once there, he got out of the car and waved goodbye as the DevBot 2.0 carried on its merry way continuing up the hill with nobody onboard.
There is a huge difference between running up a driveway on full autonomous LIDAR tech, and driving itself around a circuit with a dozen more of these things jockeying for position, or even navigating the mean streets of the real world at normal speeds. That being said, I’m pretty impressed with how smooth and seemless this self-driving racer seems to be. While I’m sure someone trained in the art of motorsport could still drive quicker than this computer can, this certainly looks faster than I expected it to be.
And here’s the view of the full run, including everything Delanny had to do inside the cockpit from the start to the show-off zone. Then the onboard video continues to show the ghost pilot take over and shoot away. It looks like the car was never really exceeding 100 kph, but that’s still mighty fine for the short climb.
It would seem that when there is no canopy of trees, the car relies partially on a GPS pre-marker to navigate the course, but being that the run up Goodwood is mostly foliage overhead, the car reverts to a pure LIDAR navigation. You can see some of the tech involved in this video Roborace put out last week.