The Nvidia-powered Roborace robo-car - an autonomous vehicle developed for racing - has become the first driverless car to complete the Goodwood Hillclimb without a human at the wheel.
Powered by the Nvidia Drive autonomous vehicle computing platform, the self-driving racing car successfully navigated trees, hay bales and tight curves in front of 55,000 spectators at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last week, an annual weekend of racing, with vehicles ranging from classic cars to Formula 1 race cars.
The feature event, known as the Hillclimb, is a 1.16-mile course with a twisting, steady uphill grade, climbing more than 150 metres. Competitors must carefully navigate bumpy courses and maintain grip on slippery terrain, all while going as fast as possible.
Because it's driven by AI, the Roborace robo-car, designed by automotive futurist Daniel Simon, has no driving seat, steering wheel or pedals. Instead, it packs four 135kW electric motors power - one for each wheel - for a combined 500-plus horsepower.
The car not only completed the course without human intervention but apparently sailed through the uphill climb with a maximum speed of 75 mph.
"We are ecstatic that the team has been able to achieve this landmark run and we hope that it draws attention to the amazing advances that are being made in the automotive industry," said Rod Chong, deputy CEO of Roborace.
"Robocar is an ambassador for the future technologies we will see on our roads and we hope that inspirational events like this will change public perceptions of autonomous vehicles."
In a blog post, Nvidia described the race completion as an "historical achievement" and "a significant milestone toward Roborace's ultimate goal: establishing a new racing platform without human drivers".
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