Autonomous racing car championship Roborace has unveiled Michelin as the series’ official tyre supplier. The French tyre manufacturer will join A.I supplier Nvidia and electric truck maker Charge as an official Roborace partner. Michelins remit will be to develop next-generation tyres exclusively for the Daniel Simon designed Robocar which will be used in the racing series.
Michelin Becomes Official Roborace Tyre Sponsor
For Roborace and other car racing competitions, tyres are a crucial part of the vehicles set-up. The tyres have to be durable enough to handle the rigors and demands of high speed racing without compromising safety or integrity of the vehicle. Michelin’s task is made all the harder as they have to develop tyres for a completely new vehicle and format of racing.
Furthermore, one of Roborace’s main goal is to become a development and testing platform for driverless car technology. And so Michelin’s tyres will also be required to be suitable for use on standard road cars.
Speaking in the press release announcing the partnership Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Roborace said:
“We are extremely proud to have Michelin as our partner. We expect our partners to be bold and to believe in a driverless future where our cities are greener, safer, quieter and smarter in ways that improve everyday lives. Michelin impressed us every time we met and they deeply understand the powerful opportunity of what road travel will become.”
In the same post, Michelin revealed that private tests with Roborace had already been going on for some time: “We are very excited to confirm our partnership with Roborace today. We have been following the championship’s progress very closely and have been testing privately with them for some time. We are very impressed by the speed at which Roborace has been developing driverless technology and hardware for its championship.”
Roborace Championship Infrastructure takes Shape
Consequently, as one of the three largest tyre manufacturer alongside Bridgestone and Goodyear , Michelin has good standing in motorsports to take the task on. The French company is already a founding partner and exclusive supplier to the Formula E electric car racing championship. For Formula E Michelin has developed the energy efficient MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV2 tyre, and a similar task awaits at Roborace.
Although originally slated to start at the beginning of the formula E season as support races, Roborace is still currently in its Beta Season. At the time of writing, the unveiling of the championship’s official racing car will take place in 2017.
The driverless racing series has appeared at select Formula E circuits to demonstrate and test its technology on real race tracks using a Robocar prototype called “Devbot“. Once the series begins it will be a platform for technology and auto companies to test their hardware and software and accelerate their products’ speed to market.