Driverless car racing series to debut next year

Driverless car racing series to debut next year

27th Nov 2015 4:53 pm

Races between driverless cars dubbed Roborace are set to be part of Formula E events from the 2016/17 season.

Races between driverless cars dubbed Roborace are set to be part of Formula E events from the 2016/17 season.

The initiative is the result of a new partnership between the series and Kinetik, an investment company backing emerging technologies.

To be held on the same circuit as Formula E races in each city, Roboraces will be one-hour in duration, with 10 teams entering two driverless cars.

While the hardware will be identical, teams will be free to develop their own computing algorithms and artificial intelligence technology to 'drive' the cars.

One team will be a designated crowd-sourced entry.

"We passionately believe that, in the future, all of the world's vehicles will be assisted by AI [artificial intelligence] and powered by electricity, thus improving the environment and road safety," Kinetik founder Denis Sverdlov said.

"Roborace is a celebration of revolutionary technology and innovation that humanity has achieved in that area so far.

"It's a global platform to show that robotic technologies and AI can co-exist with us in real life.

"Anyone who is at the edge of this transformation now has a platform to show the advantages of their driverless solutions and this shall push the development of the technology."

Another Kinetik venture, automotive start-up Charge, will provide a series of electronic commercial vehicles for Formula E's use through the new partnership.

Further Roborace details, including teams and the technologies to be used, are set to be announced early next year.

"We are very excited to be partnering with Kinetik on what is surely one of the most cutting-edge sporting events in history," Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said.

"Roborace is an open challenge to the most innovative scientific and technology-focused companies in the world.

"It is very exciting to create a platform for them to showcase what they are capable of and I believe there is great potential for us to unearth the next big idea through the unique crowd-sourced contest."

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