Roborace Autonomous Racing Concept Car Revealed (w/video)

APR 5 2016 BY MARK KANE 13



Roborace – a new driverless electric car series (from Formula E and Kinetik  as ajoint project) is gaining shape with the first images of racing vehicles revealed.

A new kind of vehicle was designed by the Daniel Simon (author of Tron) and looks great.

The first Roborace ‘shows‘ are expected to take place during the 2016/2017 Formula E season, and we can’t wait to check them out.

The whole concept is to have an autonomus vehicle racing series, and schedule those race events prior to every Formula E race…like an opening act.

“The first designs of the Roborace autonomous race car have been revealed – and it’s an amazing futuristic creation that is unlike anything ever seen on a race track before.

The design is the work of the newly-appointed chief design officer Daniel Simon. Simon, who is renowned for his work on Hollywood sci-fi blockbusters such as Tron: Legacy and Oblivion, set out to create something that took full advantage of being the first-ever racing car that doesn’t need to accommodate a driver.”

The Robocar

The Robocar

Daniel Simon, chief design officer at Robocar, said:

“We’re living in a time where the once separated worlds of the automobile and artificial intelligence collide with unstoppable force. It’s fantastic to be part of this journey; it triggers all my big passions – motor racing, design and advanced technologies. 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. The Roborace is as much about competition as it is entertainment. Therefore – and quite unusual in today’s racing world – beauty was very high on our agenda and we work hard to merge the best performance with stunning styling. It was important to us that we generate substantial downforce without unnecessary parts cluttering the car to maintain a clean and iconic look. 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. I am excited to be part of the daring team of people who are making this happen.”

Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Roborace, said:

“We are honoured to have Daniel working with us on this project as chief design officer. His passion and experience are undeniable and I believe it’s already set to be one of the most iconic vehicles in automotive history. We nicknamed the competition the ‘global championship of intelligence’ as an open challenge to the world’s smartest minds, so its only fitting that the car should be one of the smartest ever to be made, thanks to Daniel it may also be the most beautiful car ever to touch a road surface. 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.”

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said:

“Today is an historic day for motorsport, and the car industry in general. This first image of the Robocar, designed by Daniel Simon, represents a vision of what cars will be, a vision of our future. In Formula E we are proud to promote, together with pioneers like Denis Sverdlov and Daniel Simon, a revolution in the world of motorsport, a project that will change the future of mobility.”

Categories: Racing


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13 Comments on "Roborace Autonomous Racing Concept Car Revealed (w/video)"

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I am thinking that in reality, watching these race would be like watching a bunch of insects. Potentially pretty boring.

Once you take human skill and the risk to human life out of the equation, what is the draw that would motivate folks to watch this?

Now… if they all turned into transformers and began destroying each other, that might be of interest.

Car races are interesting due to the skill of the drivers.


At very least they should have some radio controlled cars in the race. This way it would become a man vs. AI race, which would be kind of similar setting to old Kasparov vs. computer chess games.

Thankfully, we’re quite easily fooled. so, they could make it like wrestling, create hero robots and evil robots and in the end the nice robot wins, the bad robot crashes, but swears revenge. You know, south american soap opera style. I actually think it could become quite interesting, in a facebookian kind of way

Oh you mean NASCAR.


No, if you watch formula 1 a lot of races are won because of superior technology.

I think the same will be true with virtual intelligent cars. No programmer can get all special scenarios. You might have a software bug that only happens in curve 13, but only if the sky is cloudy (since then the wall colour matches the street surface color). That bug leads to a huge crash to your car. A single wheel of your car is running over the race course, how to the other cars react to a single wheel in front of them? Do they perform a emergency brake? Will the sensor even be able to the the single wheel, since it will be mostly rubber from behind? Can the following car perform an emergency braking as well or will it not react at all, since it learned that the car in front drove with 100mph through that special passage the last 20 laps.

A lot of interessting things might happen. A autonomous driving is not a easy task to do.

Bug that happens in curve 13. Lol, I guess you won’t be getting one those new self driving cars then.

deborah crazy train flower power


cool, i’m excited. Interessting to see which companies would want to compete there.

Or if the field will be mainly filled with suppliers.

It could become boring if the cars are all programmed the same way.
Drivers’ skills and errors are what make races appealing but the same would result on the programming of these cars.
That’s how they’ll react to their surroundings and to events that will shape the race.

Note that humanbeing can’t sustain what a machine can. Such a machine might be able to continue teh race after damages that a human could not deal with. Imagine a missing wheel, if teh car is AWD then the programing logic would redirect the power evenly to continue the race.

Eventually if the race serie is boring it will disappear and any benefit would be lost in our daily drives.

This could work really well, people like to think the driver is important but he is not. People will watch just about anything race around a track dogs, snails, cockroaches, what ever floats your boat really. The thing that would have to be maintained is the excitement if it is clear who will win the race from lap 1 you won’t watch the other 69 laps. Machines tend to do the same thing every time, they are predictable by nature. To make this work you’d have to inject unpredictability into the event. It could be done but it is hard to replicate erratic behaviour. I geuss if the people who make pub slot machines can do it others can too.

Actually robotic racing happened several years back in F1 before electronics were curtailed. Back then, the drivers could pretty much floor it and steer letting the electronics sort everything else out. The racing was boring with very little passing.

Self driving race car using nvidia px2. Will Tesla use this or stick with mobileye?