Self-driving cars are making their way to racetracks

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There really is no better place to show off the latest car technology than the racetrack, and there are few technologies as deserving of a demonstration as self-driving cars. That’s why it was so exciting last November when the Formula E bosses announced that there’s going to be a support series that consists entirely of self-driving cars. This Roborace will pit teams of software engineers against each other, rather than physical drivers, during the 2016/17 season of Formula E, and the concept for the Roborace car has been released. 

Motorsport is more than just entertainment, it is a way for car manufacturers to show off the latest car technology on the track. And that may include self-driving features, if the Roborace championship is given the green light. Created by designer Daniel Simon, who has previously worked for Bugatti and created vehicles for Hollywood movies, the championship would field ten teams that use the same self-driving car. The objective of the race would be to customize the software onboard the car, making it in some way better than the opposing teams. Simon has dubbed it the “battle of algorithms,” which might draw in a different crowd than usual Formula 1 viewers. “My goal was to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty,” said Simon to Motor Authority. “Racing engineers and aerodynamicists have worked with me from the beginning to strike that balance — the Roborace is as much about competition as it is entertainment.” Investment firm Kinetik is apparently in charge of the car development, who started talks with the event organizers of Formula E to add self-driving cars. An electric powertrain will be fitted inside the car, with a top speed of 190 mph.

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