Roborace has demonstrated its autonomous development car, Devbot, on the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb.
The Robocar is an example of the sort of racers that are due to compete in the upcoming fully autonomous Roborace series, which works in collaboration with the Formula E all-electric race series. It doesn't have a cabin for a driver to sit, but Devbot's development car status means there is often need for a driver's input, as the car is used by all teams for development of features to be applied to Robocar.
Just as Formula E is used to accelerate the development of electric vehicles, the CEO of Roborace, Denis Sverdlov, hopes that the series will serve a similar purpose in accelerating the development of autonomous cars.
The Robocar concept - which uses electric propulsion and is operated via connected technology – is the work of former Bugatti and Volkswagen concept designer Daniel Simon, who has joined Roborace as chief design officer.
Roborace events will take place prior to regular Formula E races, and will use the same circuits. The series will feature 10 teams, each fielding two driverless cars. Although the cars will look identical, the teams will compete “using real-time computing algorithms and AI technologies”.
Simon, a 41-year-old German, has worked with race engineers on the concept, which Roborace intends to turn into reality for a series of demonstration events on the Formula E undercard. As well as automotive work, Simon has been involved with movies such as Oblivion and Tron:Legacy, and has also designed drones, motorcycles, spaceships and Le Mans cars.