MILAN, Italy – This year’s 1000 Miglia will feature a Maserati MC20 Cielo capable of fully autonomous driving, which will be utilized during certain sections of the race. Here is the announcement of this autonomous-vehicle (AV) participant:
What better context than the 1000 Miglia, which has written epic pages of world motor racing and has always embodied a glance to the future by encouraging, promoting and generating technical progress in Italian industry, to pave the way for a new frontier of artificial intelligence that could mark a revolution in sustainable mobility.
The project has been named 1000 Miglia Autonomous Drive, conceived and developed by the Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with 1000 Miglia srl, with the support and patronage of the National Centre for Sustainable Mobility; and it represents the world’s first experimentation of autonomous vehicles on public roads, characterized by a very high variety of routes.
Therefore, from June 13 to 17, a new Maserati MC20 Cielo on which all the technological elements of a “robo-driver” have been installed, will travel the entire 1000 Miglia 2023 route, driving in autonomous mode along some stretches of the route.
On these portions of the road, the vehicle will drive in total autonomy, respecting the rules of the Highway Code. Inside the car, in order to comply with the authorization requirements for experimentation, the vehicle will have to be supervised by a human co-driver, who in this case will be Matteo Marzotto, an experienced driver who has taken part in several editions of the historic 1000 Miglia, who will thus also celebrate the 70th anniversary of his uncle Giannino’s historic victory. Accompanying him will be an object of modern art being developed at the Design Department of the Politecnico, which will be unveiled at the starting line of the Red Arrow.
The initiative aims to increase the technical skills of Italian industry in the development of sustainable modes of transport, making the general public aware of the existence of this technology, which has already achieved results that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, but which still has enormous room for growth, not only in terms of technology, but also in the cultural and regulatory spheres: the project will also contribute in this sense to defining the procedures for promoting the use and development of autonomous cars, creating a connection between administrations and the main Italian research centers.
Cav. Aldo Bonomi, President of the Automobile Club of Brescia, said the following at the press conference presenting the project: “It is with great pleasure that, on behalf of the Automobile Club of Brescia, I strongly support this project, which reflects the future, development and human ingenuity, ideals and values that have been part of the 1000 Miglia since its inception in 1927.”
He was echoed by the President of 1000 Miglia srl, Beatrice Saottini: “The Red Arrow, in its almost 100 years of existence, has encouraged, favored and generated innovative technical and infrastructural solutions, such as windscreen wipers, the paving and lighting of road sections or the setting up of refueling and rest areas: we could therefore not refrain from supporting this multi-faceted project without hesitation.”
The 2023 edition of the 1000 Miglia will only be the first step in the presentation of the project: it will be followed by a year of experimental refinement of the A.I.-driver technology in which the car will be tested on a route similar to that of the race on municipal, provincial and state roads and small stretches of motorway; with the ambitious goal of driving the entire route of the 1000 Miglia 2024 in autonomous mode.