Roborace’s new CEO has revealed that the autonomous racing car championship is on schedule to begin next year. Former Formula 1 and Formula E driver Lucas di Grassi has said that he anticipates Roborace first race to take place in 2019. The start of the budding driverless racing car series has suffered a number of setbacks since being announced in 2014. Roborace first race was initially slated for 2016. However, di Grasi now feels hopeful that the much anticipated start will happen next year.
For race fans and technophiles around the world, Roborace first race has been a subject of much anticipation. The series has so far only managed a handful of curtain raiser events at Formula E races. Most recently, Robocar became the first autonomous car to complete the Hill climb at Goodwood. But the start of the driverless series has been slow to arrive. Robocar, as the autonomous racing car is called, would seem almost ready to race going by testing and development done with Devbot.
In terms of a more precise timeline, all di Grassi could say was that Roborace first race would happen in spring 2019. The Roborace CEO will surely be praying that his prediction comes to pass.
‘Season Alpha’ and Roborace First Race Coming in 2019?
However, the Autonomous racing car championship still faces major challenges. Di Grassi also confirmed that the first Roborace season, Season Alpha, will feature both autonomous and real drivers. That means the racing cars in Roborace’s first season still won’t be fully autonomous.
“Yes, there will be a human professional driver inside the car driving, ‘teaching’ the machine for part of the race. The rest will be taken over by the machine learning algorithms, or an ‘AI driver’. The winner will be the best combination of both.”
In addition, displays such as two Devbots completing laps and racing each other and the Goodwood stunt show decent progress from the car. Consequently, the question now is whether the Championship will be able to have ten teams at the starting line come 2019. In Roborace the different teams will compete using a ‘base car’ provided by the championship. The competition will therefore come through the teams’ A.I skills and expertise. This would then help push innovation in autonomous vehicles for use in the wider world.
It was a point di Grassi was keen to point out while speaking in a blog post on Autosport to reveal plans for Roborace first race in 2019. “I would like to make it clear that we don’t want to reshape motorsport at all. We want to create an environment in which we can make an advance in driver software, which will happen much faster with competition.” Called ‘Season Alpha, Roborace first race season will hopefully start next year for the series’ growing number of fans.
Di Grassi stresses the advances brought by autosport such as Formula 1 and Formula E. “That’s why we want to anticipate the future and give Roborace its debut racing season, Season Alpha, in 2019. Everything is on schedule for our first event.”
So there you have it; Roborace first race might just happen in 2019!