Advancements in the field of driverless cars have come thick and fast, and it appears that soon we’ll be able to see them racing competitively.
You may have seen our recent blog post on how driverless technology is shaping the motor industry, and now the electric racing series Formula E has teamed up with battery manufacturer Kinetik to announce plans to create the world’s first racing series for driverless cars, and will see them compete at speeds of up to 186mph.
The one-hour long ‘Roboraces’ are set to run ahead of all of next season’s scheduled Formula E races, and will be contested by ten teams, each with two cars.
All the cars will be identical so the focus will shift onto the developers to produce the best algorithms and AI’s to win.
Programmers will have to ensure that the vehicle not only gets around the track in the quickest possible time, but will also need to be able to react to the other vehicles, and carry out overtaking manoeuvres.
This follows a similar stipulation seen in the debut Formula E season, where all vehicles were the same to promote a focus on battery technology.
Details are scarce on the teams that will be taking part, although there will be a “crowd-sourced community team” consisting of “enthusiastic software and technology experts”, hopefully alongside some big names from the worlds of motorsport and technology.
While the concept of having 20 vehicles flying around a track at over 100mph may seem a tad dangerous, organisers have reassuringly pointed out that with no drivers to get injured, and with the vehicles confined to the existing circuit, the event should be perfectly safe. The vehicles can also all be shut down remotely at a moment’s notice.
While the events will be a great chance to show off some of the latest motoring tech, it will be interesting to see how they go down with spectators. After all, who do you support when the big egos of the racing drivers are taken out of the equation?
The technologies used in Formula 1 often filter down to everyday vehicles and we expect this to be no different.
Here at Cox Motor Parts we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for further details on the teams and types of technology, which are expected to be released early next year.