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  • - I got an email that said,

  • "Hi, we're developing a fully autonomous race car.

  • "Would you like to be driven around the most famous track in Britain

  • "by a computer?"

  • Sure.

  • - Roborace is an organisation that specialises in autonomous racing.

  • We develop our own autonomous race cars,

  • and we run a competition for teams to enter

  • to develop their own autonomous driving software.

  • We're basically trying to further

  • autonomous driving technology through competition.

  • - Now, I'm not used to anything like this.

  • I have never been driven at speed around the track by a human.

  • And I've never been driven at all by a fully autonomous car.

  • This is the DevBot 2, designed to take a human passenger.

  • Now, the stats aren't spectacular by supercar standards.

  • 362 horsepower from two electric motors,

  • top speed somewhere around 135 miles an hour,

  • although, as I'm a civilian, I'm limited to 60,

  • and it will take 4.1 seconds to get there.

  • But, this is only the development version.

  • This is the version that still carries a human,

  • unlike its sleeker cousin over there.

  • - Behind me is Robocar.

  • This is fully autonomous, there's no room for a human.

  • Whereas, the DevBot gives us the opportunity

  • for human versus machine type challenges.

  • It's actually got the same powertrain on the rear axle as DevBot.

  • It's just also got the same powertrain again on the front axle,

  • so it's four wheel drive, it's got twice the power.

  • It's the car we use for our top speed run.

  • We've actually had it to up to 299 kph.

  • The sensors on the two cars are actually the same.

  • We use a military grade GPS, accurate up to about two centimetres,

  • so the car knows exactly where it is.

  • We've got LIDARs, basically on the corners of the car and on the sides

  • to position where all of the objects are around the car.

  • The third is using cameras,

  • and that's for using stereo vision to judge depth,

  • basically, in the same way a human does with their eyes.

  • - So, I'm about to go for a lap of Silverstone's National Circuit,

  • just over one and a half miles,

  • which will take around 90 seconds from a standing start.

  • - Once we've created a map of the track to say,

  • "These are the edges, this is where you're allowed to go,"

  • we load that into the car.

  • It then has algorithms to determine its optimum racing line.

  • It then chooses what speed it can go

  • and when it needs to brake, when it needs to hit the throttle,

  • based on accelerations.

  • And, it knows what it can achieve from the tyres.

  • - Now, I know, because I've never been on a track before,

  • that, on that first turn, my brain is going to think

  • that we are coming in too hot, and it's not going to turn.

  • And, I am just going to need to have some faith

  • that the system is working, and I don't need to take over control

  • because I am almost certainly a worse driver

  • than the computer in this car.

  • - Basically, when you're trying to do something for the first time,

  • you need to be very safety-conscious.

  • We have full live telemetry, so we can see exactly

  • what the car is doing at all times.

  • And, we have linked to that what we call a safe-stop system,

  • basically a button that can turn the car off

  • at a moment's notice from anywhere.

  • The car can also know to turn itself off.

  • If it determines it's too far off the line it's supposed to be on,

  • and it doesn't think it can get back there,

  • it it will shut itself down.

  • - Moving to drive now, and then moving out onto the track.

  • - We've had a few crashes over the last year,

  • and this has been our first year of competitions.

  • One of the crashes that we had was, basically, a hardware issue.

  • The hardware failed, and that led to the car believing

  • it was in a different place to where it actually was.

  • So, it acted accordingly to go to where it thought it should be,

  • but that was based on bad data

  • which then meant the car hit the wall.

  • - All right, I'm lined up,

  • and I'm going to take my hands off the wheel, and put them here,

  • and take my feet off the pedals. and put them on the foot rest.

  • To be clear, we are not going to be going over 100kph here, 60mph,

  • because there's a human in the car, and that's what we're limited to.

  • But, acceleration, braking, and G forces, not limited.

  • Okay, ready to go.

  • - All right, Tom, we're all good our side,

  • so if you are happy, we'll get ready for launch.

  • - Happy is a relative term! But yes, I am ready to go.

  • - All right, copy that, so hold tight.

  • We'll launch in three, two, one.

  • [engine revving]

  • - Okay.

  • All right.

  • And, I'm being assured that this car

  • is not just following a pre-programmed line.

  • It knows the best racing line to take, of course, it knows the track.

  • It's been taught where it should go,

  • but it is reacting in real time to the track conditions,

  • to the fact that it's slightly slippery because of rain earlier.

  • And the fact there is -- oh boy!

  • The fact there is --

  • Oh, that is a perfect racing line.

  • The fact there is about 70 kilos of terrified wet meat sat in the driver's seat,

  • because that's all I am right now.

  • It's the computer doing everything here,

  • and it sounds like an electric car.

  • The steering wheel is just moving for me.

  • This is astonishing.

  • - We've actually had various event formats

  • through our first year of competition.

  • We've had a race with multiple cars on the track

  • on that same circuit like a traditional race.

  • And, we've also had competitions that are far more

  • on a time trial basis, just trying to find different formats

  • and see how autonomous racing can really work.

  • - And then, final straight towards the finish, here we go.

  • - From a hardware point of view, the cars are identical.

  • We, as a company, run all of the cars.

  • The teams, basically, just provide a driver.

  • In normal motor sport, that would be a human being.

  • In this case, it's a few thousand lines of software code.

  • - That is amazing.

  • - So, if you program your car to go faster

  • through a corner and get a better exit from a corner,

  • you will be quicker on the straight. You will be able to overtake.

  • - Woo!

  • - And, that's really what it's all about.

  • We really wanted everyone to focus on the autonomous driving

  • rather than the car setup.

  • - Thank you, returning to base.

  • - The AI does have information given to it

  • on where the other car is, what the other car is doing.

  • But, at the moment, that's mainly being used for safety purposes.

  • We can control the car from the control room,

  • but we do that, as a company, for safety reasons.

  • The teams are not given any access.

  • Once the car has started its race,

  • it's only what they've already programmed.

  • - So, that was a lot of fun.

  • That was wonderful.

  • I had a great time, but I also feel just a little bit underwhelmed

  • because it didn't feel like there was any risk there.

  • And, of course, there's no risk there.

  • I'm a civilian, they're going to limit the car,

  • they're not going to push it to the edge.

  • But, that's because there's a person in the car,

  • and that's what motor sport is about.

  • Motor sport is about humans pushing themselves as close to the limit,

  • as close to the red line, as they can.

  • And, without that element of risk, without that person in the car,

  • I don't know if it'll work as a sport.

  • Roborace is gambling that they can move the audience's attention

  • from people in the car to people in the pits.

  • And, yeah, that was a lot of fun,

  • but it's a heck of a gamble.

  • - The whole business model relies on a successful sport,

  • which relies on people watching it.

  • So, it has to be entertaining.

  • We're kind of a strange mix between

  • a technology development and an entertainment business.

  • And, I think there is, actually a lot of human element still within this.

  • Although it's machines racing,

  • it's people creating the code for those machines.

  • Something that's forgotten in traditional motor sport,

  • in a Formula One team, there's a thousand people,

  • and you just only hear about the two that were in the car.

  • So, here, all the human stories are really

  • about those people in the background, how they've coded the system,

  • and they're still pushing the limit.

  • So, it's just, arguably, in a safer manner

  • because there isn't a human in the car if it does go wrong.

  • - Thank you so much to all the team at Roborace.

  • Find out more about them by putting down the description.

  • My heart's still going.

  • That was only 60! It felt so much more than 60.

- I got an email that said,

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A2 初級

自走式レースカー (The Self-Driving Race Car)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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