Amazing Things

What’s new in racing , Robot Racers!

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Coming soon to a racetrack near you: driverless race cars! Next year, the FIA, the group behind Formula 1 racing, plans to launch a new competition, called Roborace. It will pit robotic, electric race cars against one another at speeds of more than 300 kilometers (190 miles) per hour.

During the Roborace season, ten teams will compete in cities around the world on the same circuits as FIA’s Formula E series for electric cars. No team members will actually need to be behind the wheel because the vehicles will be autonomous—programmed to think for themselves. To win a race, the teams will have to develop their own artificial intelligence technologies, using computers and sensors to allow their machines to navigate courses like human drivers would.

Creating a Sleek Design

All the Roborace teams will use identical cars, created by automotive designer Daniel Simon. He’s developed vehicles for carmakers Volkswagen and Bugatti, as well as futuristic-looking vehicles for science fiction movies.

Since Simon didn’t have to design Roborace cars with a driver in mind, he turned his attention to the vehicles’aerodynamics. The racers will be flat, built low to the ground, and have large openings around each axle. This streamlined design ensures air can flow easily around the cars and gives them a sleek look.

“My goal was to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty,” Simon recently said in a statement.

Driverless Cars Hit the Road

Roborace comes at a time when self-driving cars are surging in popularity. Auto manufacturer Tesla, Internet company Google, and universities are racing to develop and test innovative driverless designs. These cars aim to make everyday driving safer for people.

Roborace will use similar technology but with a focus on speed. “It’s gaming, motorsport, technology, and entertainment all rolled into one,” said Denis Sverdlov, the head of Roborace. “I passionately believe that the future of cars is about software—driverless, electric, and connected—and Roborace will help to make that a reality.”

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About Barry G. Morris

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