Yesterday, I wrote about a completely driverless racing car called Roborace taking on Goodwood Festival Of Speed hillclimb course. But as cool and as interesting as that was, it didn’t really surprise me. Today, I have been surprised, as Siemens has announced that they’ve been plugging away at a 1965 Ford Mustang in preparation for it do to the very same thing: Take on the course completely autonomously.
Before I get into the technology behind it, I just want to address the elephant in the room: This is a Mustang, driving fairly quickly, wit no driver, on a course surrounding by large crowds of people. What could go wrong?
Anyway, back to the tech. Alongside Cranfield University, Siemens has used “advanced location scanning technology” from Bentley Systems to enable the muscle car to track its own location. Engineers have also produced a 3D model of the course “to create connected awareness of the car’s own position”. This I feel is a bit of a cheat, but this also improves the safety surrounding the run (see paragraph two).
“Goodwood offers us a chance to reflect on why we have an emotional connection with cars,” says Dr James Brighton, senior lecturer at Cranfield, “and acts a reminder that humans like to be engaged and part of the action.
“The Siemens Autonomous Hillclimb challenge project connects the classic spirit of automotive adventure with advanced technology.”
To add to the event, the car will be running a livery celebrating the 25th anniversary of the hill climb, and while I’m there, I’m going to try and nab myself a run in the thing.
We’ll see what happens closer to the time, but for now, I’m sure you lot have plenty to say on the subject. Make sure you write all the Mustang jokes in the comments below!