Formula E and Kinetik announced on Tuesday a partnership in order to launch a new global race series which will be conformed by driverless electric cars, driven by algorithms.
ROBORACE is the name set to the high-tech championship. Several automotive and technology developers such as Google, Tesla, and Volvo have been creating autonomous driving solutions in the past years. The competition will put them all in order to show who developed the best driving algorithms.
ROBORACE will be part of the support package of the FIA Formula E Championship. As the official Formula E site says, the championship could take place during the 2016-2017 season. Every Formula E race will be preceded by a self-driving cars competition which will perform in the same circuits in major cities around the world.
Ten teams, each of them with two driverless cars, will protagonize the race, which is going to last one hour for each session. Founder of Kinetik and Roborace, Denis Sverdlov, said the mission of the competition was to show that the future of automotive and information technology is already surrounding us and can even work in harsh conditions.
Big companies, which have been doing researches for years in the field, will not only be the ones in the competition. ROBORACE wants to impulse independent talents, as they believe there is a lot of people in the world that could contribute to the initiative. One of the race teams will be conformed by a crowdsourced community team, which will will let software and technology experts perform their abilities.
“ROBORACE is an open challenge to the most innovative scientific and technology-focused companies in the world. It is very exciting to create a platform for them to showcase what they are capable of and I believe there is great potential for us to unearth the next big idea through the unique crowd-sourced contest,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said referring to the “cutting edge sport event.”
The same model of cars will be controlled by all the teams, as the key of the competition will be their ability to create and apply their own real-time computing algorithms, and all the artificial technologies involved in the process of driving. Sverdlov said both companies believe that in the future all vehicles will be assisted by Artificial Intelligence and powered by electricity, which could lead to an improvement of the environment and road safety.
It is believed by both companies that artificial intelligence can survive among humans and improve their daily life. However, they do not want fans to miss the adrenaline peak they get for Formula 1 racing. Interestingly, they have installed VR cameras over the cars that will let fans enjoy a more intimate experience.
360-video recorded with the VR wireless cameras is intended to be streamed, so viewers could be able to feel the experience of the competition from driver’s point of view.
“ROBORACE It’s a global platform to show that robotic technologies and AI can co-exist with us in real life. Thus, anyone who is at the edge of this transformation now has a platform to show the advantages of their driverless solutions and this shall push the development of the technology.” Sverdlov said.
Source: FIA Formula-E Championship