Automotive

Roborace championship will pit driverless electric cars against each other

Roborace championship will pit...
Roborace will form part of the support package for the Formula E Championship
Roborace will form part of the support package for the Formula E Championship
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Roborace will form part of the support package for the Formula E Championship
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Roborace will form part of the support package for the Formula E Championship

Are racing car drivers an endangered species? If so, then Roborace could be the beginning of the end. Slated to kick off next year, this new racing championship will pit driverless electric cars against each other in a round-the-world series. The aim is to provide a competitive platform for the autonomous driving technology that is being developed by automotive and tech firms, as well as universities.

Roborace is being developed in a partnership between the electric racing series Formula E, which is currently in its second season, and investment firm Kinetik. It will form part of the support package for the Formula E Championship, with races taking place at the same circuits prior to each Formula E race.

Ten teams will compete in the Roborace championship, each with two driverless cars. The running of one team will be crowdsourced by a community of software and technology enthusiasts, and experts from around the world. All the teams will use the same car , but will be able to alter its software to gain a competitive advantage over the course of one-hour races.

Formula E says the aim of Roborace is to demonstrate the capabilities of autonomous driving technology, even in extreme conditions, while Kinetik's Denis Sverdlov says it will help to show that we can co-exist with such technologies. CEO of Formula E Alejandro Agag describes the new series as "an open challenge to the most innovative scientific and technology-focused companies in the world."

The Roborace series is scheduled to debut in the 2016-17 season, with further details about its teams and technologies to be announced early next year.

Source: Formula E

5 comments
Peter Kelly
I predict less than 10% will finish the first year's races...likely substantially less than 10%!
Stephen N Russell
Love to C this expand to Le Mans style races after Forumula 1, awesome, then everyone worldwide can get cockpit race view since cars are driverless. Huge Problem: battery range & charging to do racing to = gas driven F1 racers.
gizmowiz
Slot car racers rejoice! Slot car races without the slots! Full scale!
Bruce H. Anderson
Let's hope lap speeds are more than 35 mph
Daishi
I wonder how different the cars will be from regular formula E. There is probably potential to go faster without the need to carry and protect a human driver. Someone should make an online racing game that uses real RC cars