The autonomous car racing series Roborace has finally unveiled its self driving race vehicle, Robocar. Kinetic, the British VC company behind Roborace, pulled the covers of its official race car during a press conference at the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Since being announced the driverless car championship has been developing Robocar into the base model set to be used by 10 competing developer teams. Aside from some fresh new livery, there is not much change between the finished article and images of previous iterations of Robocar.
The visually striking Robocar is designed by Daniel Simon, the renowned concept artist who has worked at Bugatti and on the Light Cycles in the movie Tron: Legacy. Speaking about his latest project Simon had this to say:
“I’ve worked on a lot of cool stuff — Tron, Bugatti, Star Wars — but this takes the cake,”
— Roborace (@roborace) 27 February 2017
Is the Roborace Championship Ready to Go Racing?
Robocar is indeed a beautiful car, and its unveiling hints at the Championships readiness to go racing. As reported earlier in these pages, Roborace has been carrying out tests using Devbot, a prototype of Robocar. Testing has been taking at various circuits including Donnington in England as well as Michelin’s world famous testing track in France after the tyre maker became the championships official tyre supplier.
The latest test took place at the recently ended Buenos Aires Formula E race as a curtain raiser to showcase Robocar’s progress. Two Devbots took to the street circuit in a head to head race which Devbot won after Devbot 2 crashed into the barriers. An obvious benefit of robots racing each other is that no-one was hurt in the incident and the championship will have learnt a lot during the process.
That the covers have now been lifted off the autonomous racer certainly means the first race may begin with next seasons Formula E championship in early 2018.
After Robocar’s unveiling, that date is now realistically within reach, and well keep a keen eye out for any announcements regarding teams, race dates and so on. The championship will reportedly consist of 10 technical teams working with the same car. The competition will come from teams developing better software than their rivals, to create the ultimate self-driving racing car.
The end goal is to further research and acceptance of autonomous vehicle technology as moves in that direction gather steam among tech companies and traditional automakers. Stay tuned for more Roborace updates as and when we get them. Check out more picture below. (All images copyrights belong to Daniel Simon / Roborace)