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Roborace's new autonomous racecar is one of the best things we've seen
Self-driving race car designed to support Formula E gets an update. We need this now
Life imitating art… imitating life. Or something like that. This is the updated version of Daniel Simon’s ‘Roborace’ autonomous racing car, and it is quite simply, one of the best things we’ve ever seen.
What’s a Roborace? A while back, Formula E bosses announced the idea for a support series composed entirely of self-driving cars. In March this year, Simon’s design for the ‘Roboracer’ was revealed.
This new version then, gives us a little bit more detail behind the outrageously cool looks. There’s tonnes of tech going on: new front splitter slots with ultrasonic sensors, a front radar, ‘AI’ front cameras, front corner and side LIDARS, a new antenna with a 360-degree TV camera, AI cameras and status lights, rear radars and LIDARS, battery cooling elements and of course, a gurney flap.
Oh, and about that life imitating art bit - Simon was the man who designed the cars in Tron: Legacy. Not a bad CV then, for a man tasked with designing cars set to boost an electric racing championship.
“My goal was to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty,” explained Simon earlier this year. “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.”
Apparently, the Roborace series will begin later this year, consisting of ten teams running two cars each. Though the cars are identical, the software driving them will differ.
Anyone else as childishly excited as we are? Good. Have a closer look at the pic above - we’ve included the earlier designs so you can see the update for yourself.