Formula E announces first-ever autonomous driving racing series

By Shawn Knight
Nov 28, 2015
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  1. Fully autonomous vehicles roaming public roadways are still many years away but if racing organizer Formula E has its way, you’ll be able to watch self-driving cars compete against each other on the track next season.

    Formula E, which hosted its first all-electric championship series last year, is partnering with Kinetik on the initiative. Dubbed Roborace, the series will feature 10 teams (with two cars each) competing in hour-long races held before scheduled Formula E events.

    Each of the 20 self-driving cars will be identical, forcing teams to focus their efforts of developing the artificial intelligence and algorithms to guide their cars during the race. Curiously enough, Formula E said that one team will be a crowd-sourced community team led by enthusiastic software and technology experts.

    Denis Sverdlov, Kinetik founder, said they 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.

    While not much has been revealed about the actual cars that’ll be used, a spokesperson for Kinetik said they’ll have a top speed of around 186 mph. As The Verge points out, that would make them faster than the human-driven Formula E cars that top out at around 140 mph. In fact, Roborace vehicles would be the fastest autonomous vehicles in the world, besting Audi’s 560 horsepower driverless RS 7 which managed to hit 149 mph last year.

    Image courtesy James Temperton, Wired

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,106   +1,376

    For best program to win? How's that a sport?
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    It's not a sport. It is a non-physical competition which eliminates the possibility of it being a sport.
  4. Motor racing is going to be awesome in 5 years time.
    F1 is at a all time high and Formula E is a cure for insomnia and now autonomous racing,great.
    Steve likes this.
  5. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,823   +873

    To be fair, the program can't win the race if the engineering in the car is ****. They'll also have to gas it up and change tires in pit stops so that adds a physical element.

    I'm interested to see how this all plays out. I'd never watch something like this but the results of the race would certainly be interesting
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,494   +668

    Brings back memories of slot car tracks .... can't say it's going to be something I tune into watch .... unless of course, they stick in a few of those gerbils they have in that one KIA commercial! LOL
    Steve likes this.
  7. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,184   +1,215

    LOL sarcasm? ;)
    BMfan likes this.
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,936

    The same can be said for e-sports. While that will never be a sport in my eyes, the world is changing.
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,936

    It'll get better when they get rid of that old fart Bernie Ecclestone... hopefully
  10. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 344   +101

    There's a lot I could say about normal so called things that get called "sports", that have not as much actual challenge to it. The eSports scene has a fair amount of mental and physical work, depending on what game you're referring to.

    What challenge is in a lot of things, that have been deemed a sport and has no real physical exertion? It also goes to show, people are getting tired of the same old things. There's competition on more than the physical level, and probably a lot more entertaining than what some tune into on a regular sports day. =)
  11. AnonymousSurfer

    AnonymousSurfer TS Guru Posts: 451   +37

    My only hope is that there are some crazy wrecks. I mean, at least this way I won't feel as guilty when the car hits the wall and obliterates.
    Steve likes this.

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