Meet Roborace: Autonomous all-electric racing cars are coming this year

Motorsport has always been about the best drivers using the most powerful machines. That’s about to change. Roborace is a new series from the people behind Formula E, and it’s not only ditching petrol – it’s ditching drivers, too. That’s right, Roborace will see AI drivers battle each other – and it’s coming this year.

Meet Roborace: Autonomous all-electric racing cars are coming this year

As you’d expect, the car looks totally different to F1 or WEC cars, for two reasons. First, the designer doesn’t need to make space for a human; second, that designer is Daniel Simon, the man behind the look of

Tron: Legacy.

We’re living in a time where the once-separated worlds of the automobile and artificial intelligence collide with unstoppable force, he said. “It’s fantastic to be part of this journey; it triggers all my big passions – motor racing, design and advanced technologies.roborace_car_2

“My goal was to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver, without ever compromising on beauty. Racing engineers and aerodynamicists have worked with me from the beginning to strike that balance.”

However, hardcore F1 fans like me shouldn’t be too worried (yet). Roborace will exist in parallel with human-piloted series, and will be pitched as a showcase for the latest AI tech.

Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Roborace, said: “It’s gaming, motorsport, technology and entertainment all rolled into one. I passionately believe that the future of cars is about software – driverless, electric and connected – and Roborace will help to make that a reality.”

We haven’t yet been given an official starting date for the series, but with any luck the AI will show more sensible judgement than Valtteri Bottas during Sunday’s Bahrain GP.

READ NEXT: How Mercedes made F1’s best hybrid engine

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