NVIDIA Drive PX 2 is the AI brain of Roborace autonomous race cars

The autonomous race cars set to compete in the Roborace Championship will have NVIDIA's Drive PX 2 as their artificial intelligence brains, the company has announced. This is the first global autonomous competition of its kind, and it'll be pitting software against software rather than human driver against human driver. A total of ten teams will be competing, each of them having a pair of autonomous race cars running Drive PX 2.

The ten teams competing in Roborace will have the same cars, and they'll be competing in 60 minute races. Because the cars are all the same, it's the software that'll make or break the race. Says the company, "That's why Kinetik, the London-based investment firm behind Roborace, approached NVIDIA."

The maker's Drive PX 2 is described as being about the size of a lunchbox and capable of up to 24 trillion operations every second, powering the artificial intelligence applications each team will utilize. The small size is necessary due to the svelte, compact nature of the cars — something that itself is the result of not having to accommodate a human driver.

The vehicle itself was designed by Daniel Simon, an auto designer who created the light cycles from Tron: Legacy. To give an how powerful the Drive PX 2 powering them is, NVIDIA says each one has the processing power of 150 MacBook Pros.