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Formula E to Have Self-Driving Cars Championship Next Year

A race where cars compete against each other without any driver controlling them - now that has to be the reason the word "futuristic" exists in the first place. It’s not a joke, mind you, although it may be one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s ideas, considering the Oscar-aspiring actor is part of the recently established Formula E Sustainability Committee.
Formula E to Have Self-Driving Cars Race Next Year 1 photo
If Formula E somehow managed to keep Silicon Valley geeks away from following its electronic racing cars so far, next year’s Roborace will undoubtedly change that. Gone are the days when people smoking Cubans on the side of the track would bet their year’s savings on the best Formula One driver. It’s all about who has the most advanced software, nowadays.

About that Roborace. Announced as a brainchild of a partnership between Formula E and Kinetik Friday, the new championship will provide a competitive platform for the autonomous driving solutions that are now being developed by carmakers and tech companies, as well as top universities. Each self-driving Formula E racing car must have a name
The single-seater championship that annoys all petrolheads says Roborace will form part of the support package for the FIA Formula E Championship, with the first races intended to take place during the 2016-2017 season.

Some set of rules have already been discussed, but one thing is sure, these self-driving contraptions will each need to have a name. Don’t laugh at it; how else may one identify each car since they will all have the same construction and no driver?

Ten teams will compete in one-hour races over the full championship season. All will have the same vehicles, but using real-time computing algorithms and AI technologies.

If you managed to stay calm enough to read this post, you’re probably wondering what is the purpose of this so-called Roborace. Well, it appears its mission is to demonstrate that the future of automotive and information technology is already here and can even work in extreme conditions.

“Roborace believes that there is a lot of independent talents in the world that might contribute to this initiative. That is why one of the race teams will be organized as a crowd-sourced community group open to enthusiastic software and technology experts all over the world,” Formula E detailed in its statement you can consult below.

The sole question left unanswered is whether motorsport enthusiasts should expect transformer cars to replace their beloved championship single seaters in the future as well.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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