Porsche develops software for autonomous racing cars

IRL/GB

Porsche develops software for autonomous racing cars

Porsche has developed autonomous car technology software which can enable a driver to experience, hands-free, how a professional motor racing driver would tackle a racetrack.

Basically speaking the new technology will enable regular people to experience the speed and driving like a professional.

The German sports car manufacturer will capture data from professional drivers as they negotiate racecourses at high speed.

The data will then be uploaded to so a self-driving Porsche that can replicate the entire driving experience of a racecar on the track.

When the non-racecar driver is in the Porsche, they will experience the speed and driving of a professional after which the driver can take the wheel and measure their own driving skills against an ideal lap and obtain real-time feedback on how to improve.

Porsche will develop an app which analyses the professional driving of the former Formula One racing driver Mark Webber as he drives on the track.

Mark Webber retired last year after winning nine Grand Prix races and the 40-year-old Australian, now a Porsche brand ambassador, joked that the “Mark Webber app” would be like a cloning. “I’m going to feed the app and undo my own talent,” he said at Goodwood.

The chief executive of Porsche, Oliver Blume, said there was a bright future for autonomous technology as “a virtual instructor at the racetrack”.

“The system can help you: ‘Okay you have to break a bit later, do the curve a bit sharper’,”

Self-driving technology

The self-driving race car app’s development is in its early days, but the developers are convinced it was feasible and had the potential to “totally accelerate” the learning curve for sports car drivers.

Mark Webber said that the new app would allow the race car driver to learn from his own skills in “layers” as the app would require him to drive a racetrack at different speeds in order to upload the data in a systematic and increasingly faster circuit, so a user could develop in stages from novice to professional.

“I would go at 40 per cent, and 50 per cent, and 60 per cent, and give you different layers,” he said. “Then you could sit in – and take it in.”

Mr Blume, Porsche’s chief executive, could not say when the app would be ready but the technology already exists for Porsche’s to drive around the racetrack. Just back in February, the world’s first driverless car race, Roborace, took place in Barcelona.

Difficulty

Many people may say autonomous driving and Porsche do not fit together but Porsche, like many car manufacturers at the moment, are thinking ahead to use technologies and make them special for Porsche.

The current self-driving car technology has been described as relatively low-hanging fruit, from self-parking to staying in the right line and detecting other vehicles. The difficulty will be getting the Porsche car to drive like “Mark Webber 100 per cent”. Mark described it this way:

“The coding of that last part will be quite challenging because I’m really going to be aggressive.”

(As always, if you or a family member are considering buying a used car, don’t buy until you run a car check report with MyVehicle.ie where you will find out the true history of the vehicle.)

IRL/GB


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