Auto Tech

Robocar will tackle the Goodwood hill climb autonomously

It'll be the first AV to make its way through Lord March's estate.

I wonder if they programmed it to do a couple donuts on the larger parts of the road. Probably not.

Roborace

It'll only have to drive for about a mile, but when Roborace's autonomous car heads to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, it'll make for a momentous occasion.

Robocar, the autonomous racecar that stars in its own racing series, will be the first autonomous vehicle to tackle the hill climb event during Goodwood. There won't be a single human involved -- it'll make the 1.16-mile run up the hill using nothing but its own sensors and systems.

Robocar first made an appearance at Goodwood last year, as part of the Festival of Speed's Future Lab. It'll have a presence there this year, too, where the group will offer an immersive VR experience that lets users witness the hill climb from the car's point of view. Robotics and autonomous transport will be the underlying themes at Future Lab this year, complete with interactive displays and demonstrations.

Now in its 25th year, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is a hill climb event that brings some very interesting cars out of the woodwork. Whether it's a Formula One racecar, a wild concept from years past or something like Robocar, Goodwood is always worth watching -- and you'll be able to do that thanks to YouTube, which hosts a livestream of the whole event.

Robocar is a sprightly little thing. Its tight form makes it pretty obvious that there isn't room for a human inside. It weighs just under 3,000 pounds, and it packs four 181-horsepower electric motors. In order to navigate courses autonomously, it's loaded with lidar, radar, GPS and a bevy of other sensors. In the racing series, Roborace provides the car and an API, leaving each time to add their own AI algorithms.