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This could be Formula E’s autonomous Roborace car
Feast your eyes on the first design for the ePrix robot support series
Last November, Formula E bosses announced that the electric championship was organising a support series composed entirely of autonomous cars. The reaction was a mix of intrigue and derision, despite assurances that a 20-strong grid would be ready for next season.
Four months on from that announcement, fans have today been given their first glimpse of what the Roboracers could look like. And by heck is it a striking concept.
The dramatic bodywork shouldn’t be too much of surprise given that the Chief Design Officer is Daniel Simon, a man whose past includes the creation of the futuristic vehicles in the Hollywood blockbuster Tron: Legacy.
“My goal was to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty,” said Simon. “Racing engineers and aerodynamicists have worked with me from the beginning to strike that balance.
“It was important to us that we generate substantial downforce without unnecessary parts cluttering the car,” he continued. “This is largely made possible by using the floor as the main aerodynamic device and we are currently developing active body parts that are more organic and seamless than solutions today.”
The Roborace series, which is due to begin later in 2016, will consist of ten teams all running two cars each. Although the vehicles will be identical, the software developed to ‘drive’ the machines will be different from team to team.
The races will take place at each ePrix event on the 2016/17 calendar, and will last for about an hour.
Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag believes the news represents “an historic day for motorsport”, with the aim of revolutionising “the future of mobility”.
If it’s this good to look at, robot racing might not be so bad after all…