Technology company NVIDIA has announced that they are launching a new racing series featuring autonomous cars. NVIDIA, a company you may be more familiar with for their video cards, also makes high performance parallel processors for supercomputers as well as chips designed to power autonomous cars. The new series is designed to show off their new Drive PX 2 super computing platform.
The size of a lunchbox, the Drive PX 2 can perform 24 trillion calculations per second (about the processing power of 150 MacBoko Pros) and can read from the radar, lidar, cameras, gps and mapping sensors (plus more) that are necessary to allow a car to drive itself. It is designed to assist the next generation of self driving cars to be more capable.
To showcase the Drive PX 2, the Roborace series will have 10 teams, each with two driver-less cars, in a series of one hour races. The teams will all have identical cars, the difference is entirely in the driver. In this case, though, the driver is the artificial intelligence that each team is able to create based around the given hardware. Each team will need to develop their own programming, algorithms and training. Hopefully they will bring their own driving styles as well. The cars are very unique, designed by Daniel Simon, the designer who brought us the light cycles from Tron: Legacy as well as creating land sea and air vehicles for Captain America.
The new Roborace series is set to run in conjunction with Formula E, and it may be the first series where the number two driver will never complain when they have to let number one pass. It is set to have the first race later this year, but the location has not yet been announced.