Roborace is previewing its electric autonomous race car concept.

Looking as if it came straight from a science fiction movie, the all-electric race car does not have a driver’s seat as Roborace will be all about autonomous tech. The concept was designed by Daniel Simon, known for creating the livery of the HRT Formula 1 car from the 2011 season and also for his work on the futuristic cars featured in the Tron: Legacy and Oblivion movies.

Roborace will serve as a support category to Formula E and will be organized during the 2016/17 season with 10 teams (including one crowd-sourced) that will each operate two cars. There will be one-hour races during each of the Formula E ePrix and all of the cars will be the same, with the only difference being the software implemented by engineers.

While the reluctance towards such a series is understandable, human factor will still be involved even though the cars won’t have a driver’s seat. One positive aspect is the involvement of engineers that are already working on autonomous driving technologies for future road-going driverless cars. The new series is likely to further boost development of this technology which whether we like it or not, will arrive at some point in the future.

Roborace will be more than just a battle between radio-controlled cars, as the vehicles will be programmed to interact with each other. The complex software is being developed to enable the race cars avoid a crash and also be capable to implement a certain strategy to gain positions.

It remains to be seen whether Roborace will gain traction, but the series should not be dismissed right away. No doubt the futuristic shape of the concept is a big plus for what is being described by Roborace CEO Denis Sverdlov as the “global championships of intelligence.”


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