The brouhaha created by the emerging technologies of self-driving cars is here to stay, as is evident from some commercial developments. And given the state of hype, the autonomous driving scope is all set make its debut in the competitive ambit – courtesy of the aptly named ROBORACE. A collaborative effort from electric racing series Formula E and investment firm Kinetik, the championship will pit the best of the driverless cars against one another, and is expected to commence from next year.
To that end, the competition will entail a total of ten teams, each their set of two driverless electric cars. As the Formula E website makes it clear –
The plan is for ROBORACE to form part of the support package of the FIA Formula E Championship, with the first race intended to take place during the 2016-2017 season. ROBORACE is aimed to take place prior to each Formula E race, using the same circuits in major cities across the world. Ten teams, each with two driverless cars, will compete in one-hour races over the full championship season. All the teams will have the same cars however will compete using real-time computing algorithms and AI technologies.
Regarding the last part about all cars being the same, this might appear to be a let down for potential fans who were looking forth to variety in this AI-oriented, self-driving vehicular scope. However, the teams can certainly opt for variant software patterns that might endow an advantage to their particular electric car over the course of the grueling one-hour race. In fact, the very goal of the ROBORACE pertains to the future of vehicles that would combine their automated, self-driving features with the low-emissions of electric powertrains. As Denis Sverdlov, Founder of Kinetik and ROBORACE, said –
We passionately believe that, in the future, all of the world’s vehicles will be assisted by AI and powered by electricity, thus improving the environment and road safety. ROBORACE is a celebration of revolutionary technology and innovation that humanity has achieved in that area so far. 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.
So, in case you are looking forth to the battle of AI driven car champions, keep a lookout for further details and announcements (about the teams and technologies) to be made in the early part of next year.