Formula E announces autonomous support series

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The FIA Formula E championship has announced that in conjunction with investment company Kinetik, it is to launch a global race series for driverless electric cars. This new championship called ‘Roborace’ will provide a competitive platform for the autonomous driving solutions that are being developed by many OEMs and Universities alike.

Roborace has been earmarked to form part of the support package of the FIA Formula E Championship, with the first race intended to take place during the 2016-2017 season. The autonomous championship would take place prior to each Formula E race, using the same circuits in major cities across the world. Ten teams, each with two driverless cars, will compete in one-hour races over the full championship season. All the teams will have the same cars however will compete using real-time computing algorithms and AI technologies.

“We passionately believe that, in the future, all of the world’s vehicles will be assisted by AI and powered by electricity, thus improving the environment and road safety,” explained Denis Sverdlov, founder of Kinetik and Roborace. “The championship is a celebration of revolutionary technology and innovation that humanity has achieved in that area so far. It’s a global platform to show that robotic technologies and AI can co-exist with us in real life. Thus, anyone who is at the edge of this transformation now has a platform to show the advantages of their driverless solutions and this shall push the development of the technology.”

Kinetic states that one of the main missions for the championship is to demonstrate that the future of automotive and information technology can work in extreme conditions. In addition to Universities and OEMs, the organisers also believe that there is a lot of independent talent globally could contribute to the initiative. As a result, one of the race teams will be organised as a crowd-sourced community team open for enthusiastic software and technology experts all over the world.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Kinetik on what is surely one of the most cutting-edge sporting events in history,” added Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E. “Roborace is an open challenge to the most innovative scientific and technology-focused companies in the world. It is very exciting to create a platform for them to showcase what they are capable of and I believe there is great potential for us to unearth the next big idea through the unique crowd-sourced contest.”

Further details and announcements about the teams and technologies to be used will be made early next year.

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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