Roborace Releases New Formula E Car
As Formula E enters its third year as a racing series, new competitors hope to enter the races in the form of fully automated robotic cars. In Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress the company debuted its latest design for the Robocar built by chief designer Daniel Simon. Known for designing vehicles for movies such as Captain America, Tron: Legacy, and Prometheus, Daniel also took inspiration from VW, Bentley, Bugatti, and Audi to create his latest design.
Roborace hopes to spark a new global sport of robotic racing. The initial plan is to begin debuting the vehicles as part of the Formula E (all electric car) racing series. “We want people to see this like a Tron, or an Oblivion, or a Star Wars spaceship,” says Justin Cooke, Chief Marketing Officer of Roborace. Fans in Bueno Aires got a sneak peek of the race cars in action as Roborace pit two of their vehicles up against one another in a track race. Both cars performed very well, even avoiding a dog which wandered onto the track.
Just how will robot racing work? Well each team entering the race will be performing with the same hardware. The differences in winning the race will come from the software. Here, the best programmers will win; hooray for "Revenge of the Nerds." Though Roborace had planned to have 20 cars racing in the 2017 season, they've had to change that goal because of slower-than-anticipated progress.
The eventual goal is that much of the technology used on the racetrack will translate to the road and be in the hands of everyday drivers. “So many of the innovations in automotive history have come from racing,” says robo-car builder Red Whittaker of Carnegie Mellon University. With any luck development will continue strongly and we'll see these futuristic machines tearing up the track in no time.