Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Roborace | posted April 01, 2016 09:00
Autonomous racecars set to go racing at 2016-2017 Formula E
Electric cars will not be the only ones competing in Formula E as self-driving vehicles will also be present at the 2016/2017 season of the motorsport. Called Roborace, the new racing category will see autonomous electric cars battle it out for first place.
Fresh from the design department is Roborace’s concept racecar. It was penned by their chief design officer Daniel Simon, who is widely known for his work in such movies like Tron: Legacy and his previous post as senior designer at Bugatti.
“The Roborace is as much about competition as it is entertainment. Therefore - and quite unusual in today’s racing world - beauty was very high on our agenda and we work hard to merge the best performance with stunning styling,” said Simon.
With an emphasis on downforce, the concept racecar features a clean aerodynamic finish that is clutter free. It has an almost arrow-like shape and sits low to the ground. Moreover, the suspension system and tires were designed in such a way to minimize wind resistance.
Simon also added that the concept was made possible by making use of a floor as the main aerodynamic component. They are also working on active body parts that follow form rather than function to enable a seamless airflow.
“We’re living in a time where the once separated worlds of the automobile and artificial intelligence collide with unstoppable force. It’s fantastic to be part of this journey; it triggers all my big passions - motor racing, design and advanced technologies,” added Simon.
Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Roborace, is glad to have Daniel Simon as their chief design officer.
“We are honored to have Daniel working with us on this project as chief design officer. His passion and experience are undeniable and I believe it’s already set to be one of the most iconic vehicles in automotive history. We nicknamed the competition the ‘global championship of intelligence’ as an open challenge to the world’s smartest minds, so it’s only fitting that the car should be one of the smartest ever to be made,” said Sverdlov.
The first Roborace shows will take place during the 2016/2017 Formula E season and will showcase the driving capabilities of the autonomous racecars.
The motorsport itself will consist of 10 teams that will each have an autonomous racecar. Every car will be the same and will only differ in terms of the onboard software. Compared to traditional racing, each car will be able to communicate with one another to avoid collisions. On the flipside, each car will come up with its own strategy in gaining the lead.