Formula E wants to start a new championship series for electric cars from next year in which the “drivers” will have to watch from the side.
The autonomous technology is coming fast into the automotive world, but even faster in the motorsport. Not long ago, Yamaha has brought to “life” the first Autonomous Motorcycle Rider, a concept that could provoke nightmares for Valentino Rossi. Now it is F1 drivers’ turn to think about their future, as Formula E intends to begin a new support category for its series in which only driverless cars will compete. The “ROBORACE”, as it is called, will start during the first ePrix of the next season with full autonomous electric cars. The “racers” will compete for one-hour long and each of the ten teams will be required to run two cars, while one of the teams will be crowdsourced. The race will take place two hours before each ePrix, with teams able only to modify the car’s software and not any physical aspects of the car. Formula E’s existing teams may also take part on ROBORACE, a concept aimed primarily at those outfits with manufacturer links or a specific interest in the development of driverless technology.
“We passionately believe that, in the future, all of the world’s vehicles will be assisted by AI and powered by electricity, thus improving the environment and road safety,” said founder of investment company Kinetik Denis Sverdlov. “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.”