Technology | Technology

Driverless robot car launched at MWC2017

The era of cars moving on the roads without a driver is here, as Roborace launches its first driverless robot car at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Roborace is the company starting the world’s first motorsports for driverless robot cars in collaboration with Formula E.

Indeed, quite a number of car brands have released 5G connected samples that communicate with several systems via GPS and Cloud Services within the country they are in, indicating the internet of things (IoT) is here.

Some come with the opportunity for the driver to opt for auto-drive and allow the car to drive itself while the human being is still in the car.

But the driverless robot car from Roborace climaxed them all because, not only is it connected to the IoT, but also test artificial intelligence without human intervention.

The car is built to think for itself and drive on its own without a human driver.

Roborace showed off the car which looks like it comes straight from the set of a high-budget sci-fi movie.

But this is a real-life, race-ready robocar with the center of its body looking like a narrow spine, because it has no cockpit, and the four wheels tucked inside huge aerodynamic scoops.

CEO of Roborace, Denis Sverdlov said at the launch "We want people to see this like a Tron, or an Oblivion, or a Star Wars spaceship."

He said Roborace has ambitions to be a new global motorsport series, and the long term plan is to pitch various car companies making robocars against each other on the track, as part of Formula E.

The car, built from carbon fiber, weighs 2,149 lbs, and at 189 inches long and 79 inches wide, it’s just a bit smaller than the average Formula One racer. Sensors, a crucial element of any self-driver, include five lidars, two radars, and six cameras. The brain is provided by Nvidia, with its Drive PX2 AI chip.

The car was designed by Daniel Simon, who has worked with several luxury car companies around the world and is reputed for designing futuristic vehicles for several sci-fi movies.

“I’ve worked on a lot of cool stuff — Tron, Bugatti, Star Wars — but this takes the cake,” Simon said at the launch.

Formula E CEO, Alejandro Agag said Roborace is more than just a race because it tests artificial intelligence, which has far-reaching benefits for human progress.

"It remains to be seen how two robot cars speeding towards a sharp curve in a race would behave to prevent an accident," he said.

Meanwhile, Jaguar, Peugeot, BMW, Opel and other brand cars are also showcasing 5G/IoT connected versions of their cars at the congress.