Roborace Driverless Racing Series to Feature Cars That Look like the Mantis

Roborace car design 2 photos
Photo: Roborace / Daniel Simon
Roborace car design
The mantis is a captivating insect. I find the femme fatale persona of female mantis especially alluring. The mantis is also a notorious fetishist because females have a habit of eating the males after mating. As fate would have it, one of the biggest weirdos of the insect world has put its print on the most technologically challenging racing series ever.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m referring to Roborace and the strange-looking car in the featured photo and video. The first championship for electrically powered autonomous vehicles will act as a support series for Formula E, the electric version of Formula 1. According to the website of the racing series, twenty cars and ten teams have entered Roborace for the inaugural season. And yes, all the teams will have the same cars.

Of course, there will be minor differences between them. These are the livery, the real-time computing algorithms, and the artificial intelligence tech that will see these contraptions race at speeds of more than 186 mph (300 km/h). A company known as Kinetik will build the cars and its founder is rather passionate about the shape of things to come.

Denis Sverdlov, the head honcho 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.”

Are this man and the racing serious ambitious? Definitely. Are they rubbish? Far from it. No specifications have been released as of yet for the Roborace cars, but I can tell you who designed the model. His name is Daniel Simon, a German who worked at Volkswagen as a senior designer. Then Daniel created the livery of the 2011 HRT Formula 1 team. However, his best-known works are the futuristic cars, motorcycles, and spaceships he created for Tron: Legacy, Captain America: The First Avenger, Prometheus, and Oblivion.

Dear Daniel, I don’t know if you’re into the praying mantis or not, but the Roborace grid will be something to look forward to. Mark your calendar: the first race is planned for September 2016 in Montreal, Canada.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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