Roborace concept car revealed and could be put into action as a support series to the Formula E championship from September 2016 onwards
The track racing between autonomous vehicles may have seemed liked a distant reality in the past but the Tron: Legacy cars are coming sooner than anticipated. I mentioned that movie because the designer responsible for these real-world cars is the same who styled the movie concept, Daniel Simon.
Dubbed as Roborace, the new championship will see autonomous racecars with artificial intelligence going head to head against each other on race tracks. If the proposed plans come into life, we could see the new league up and running in the later parts of this year. Daniel Simon has not only designed vehicles for Hollywood movies like the Tron and Oblivion but he has experience in styling the liveries of race cars as well.
The Roborace cars designed by him will be identical for all the teams. Previewed in a concept form, the autonomous racers will act as support category for the all-electric Formula E championship that is in its second season currently. The exhibition styled event will see ten teams competing with two cars for each team.
You may wonder what’s the point in putting driverless vehicles against each other? The one-hour races in which the championship is set will determine the ultimate winner with the type of artificial intelligence system used by the teams to control them.
The revolutionary Formula E series first announced the Roborace concept in 2015 and the cars are reported to hit speeds of up to 300 kmph. Describing them as battle of algorithms, the prototype showcased has been designed in consultation with race engineers and aerodynamicists to bring the ultimate experience.
The self-driving race cars is believed to be built by a tech investment firm called Kinetik featuring electric propulsion system. The teams are free to adapt their own control software to artificially drive the cars and Simon said the design is in such a way that downforce is generated from the floor rather than any above-the-surface aero parts.
The third Formula E season kicks off in September 2016 in Montreal that could see the introduction of the Roborace if everything goes according to plan. The Formula E series has developed a unique identity to itself with races being held in the city centres across the world rather than people having to flock to race tracks miles away from where they reside.
It brings the entertainment to the fans rather than conventional racing championships with zero emission electric powertrains. As Jaguar is all set to enter next season, more mainstream auto manufacturers have showed interest in developing the propulsion systems and drivetrains. The eco-friendly races has an added advantage of no engine noise as they’re electric which makes it a family sport rather than enthusiast-bounded with DJ parties and interaction events simultaneous being conducted in the temporary race tracks.
Mahindra Racing has two phenomenal drivers at the helm, Bruno Senna and Nick Heidfeld, in the series. With the team’s influence and the latest interest showed by the government to host a race in India, we are not far away from seeing the silent race cars in action as some of the world’s finest drivers will fight out to become the coveted champion.