Roboracer autonomous car to make history at Goodwood

It is a venerable shrine to the thrills of the internal combustion engine, but Goodwood’s famous Festival of Speed will welcome an autonomous electric car to tackle its hillclimb challenge for the first time next month.

The self-driving Roboracer EV will launch itself up the winding lanes of the spectacular Goodwood estate in West Sussex during this year’s 25th anniversary Festival, one of the highlights of the UK petrol-head calendar.

The futuristic car, which has already made a buzz on the Formula E circuit, will pit its 360-degree sensors, computer processors, four electric motors, GPS, radar, lidar and hi-tech cameras against the hay bales, flint walls, trees and tight turns of Goodwood’s 1.16-mile hill track in a race against the clock.

“We are excited that the Duke of Richmond has invited us to make history at Goodwood as we attempt the first ever fully — and truly — autonomous uphill climb using only artificial intelligence,” said Roborace boss and Formula E champ Lucas di Grassi.

The 1,350 kg car, which was showcased at the Festival’s Future Lab last year, was designed by Hollywood creative Daniel Simon, known for his work on films such as “Oblivion,” “Tron” and “Captain America.”

Roborace developed the first driverless electric racing car last year, the Robocar “devbot”, which can reach speeds of 199mph.

The company plans to use similar cars in an all-electric driverless race series that will be part of the entertainment at Formula E.

The Festival of Speed showcases a selection of the best road and race cars and bikes ever invented, and attracts some of the biggest names in motorsport.

This year’s Future Lab will focus on space exploration, autonomous transport, robotics and personal flight, according to the Festival website.