Meet Robocar, the driverless racing car for the AI-powered Roborace

In the upcoming events, the team with the best algorithms will win

The Robocar is Roborace's first driverless racing vehicle. Credit: Roborace

The Robocar is Roborace's first driverless racing vehicle. Credit: Roborace

Formula E has unveiled the AI-powered race car that will be used in its Roborace competition for driverless vehicles.

Ten teams, each with two cars, will compete in a series of one-hour races over the Formula E championship season, which starts later this year. All teams will have the same driverless cars; what sets them apart will be the artificial intelligence they use to control them.

Formula E announced the Roborace series last year, calling it a "battle of algorithms." The driverless cars will reportedly hit speeds of 300kph (186mph).

Now the design of the vehicle has been decided, thanks to Roborace chief design officer Daniel Simon, known for his work on the sci-fi movies "Tron: Legacy" and "Oblivion."

“We’re living in a time where the once separated worlds of the automobile and artificial intelligence collide with unstoppable force," Simon said. "My goal was to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty."

The design uses the vehicle's floor as the main aerodynamic device in order to generate downforce without cluttering the car with unnecessary parts, he said.

Roborace events will be held before each Formula E race using the same circuits in major cities around the world.

The series is "a celebration of revolutionary technology and innovation that humanity has achieved in that area so far," said Denis Sverdlov, its CEO, in a statement late last year. "It’s a global platform to show that robotic technologies and AI can co-exist with us in real life."

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Katherine Noyes

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