New self-driving vehicle to be showcased at Goodwood Festival of Speed

A new self-driving vehicle wil be showcased at Goodwood Festival of Speed this year by the company Roborace.

Monday, 24th June 2019, 11:34 am
Updated Monday, 24th June 2019, 12:34 pm
The DevBot 2.0 from Roborace

It will be the first time the new DevBot 2.0 vehicle has appeared in public in the UK.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place from Thursday, July 4, until Sunday, July 7, this year.

At last year’s event, the company debuted its self-driving Robocar – which became the first vehicle to complete the challenging course, including the 1.6-mile hillclimb, without a driver on board.

The new DevBots differ from the original Robocar as they have the capacity to be driven by either a human driver or a robot driver, giving greater flexibility for experimenting with different racing formats, according to Roborace.

It is envisaged that these formats will include human and robot teams in the future, with part of the race being driven by a human driver before they hand over to their artificial intelligent (AI) counterpart to finish the race.

The hillclimb presents a challenge for self-driving software as there is no GPS coverage on the hill, meaning the cars must rely on other sensors to guide them along the length of the course.

This is coupled with the variety of obstacles the car must detect that are not usually encountered on a race track, such as flint walls, hay bales and trees lining the route, the spokesman said.

Lucas Di Grassi, chief executive of Roborace, said: “By bringing our new DevBot 2.0 vehicles to the Festival of Speed this year we are making self-driving cars cool and fun for all generations of people attending the event and watching around the world.

“If we want people to adopt these new technologies in the future it is important that we showcase that they are safe, but also that they are exciting – just as motorsport has done for many years since its inception.”

Will Kinsman, head of motorsport content at Goodwood, said: “Roborace has created a genuinely intriguing concept for the future of motorsport that we are delighted to welcome back to Goodwood.”

The theme of the four-day festival at Goodwood this year is ‘Kings of Speed - Motorsport’s Record Breakers’.