Formula E unveils Roborace car ahead of 2016/7 debut

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Ahead of a 2016/7 season debut, Roborace – the recently announced, fully autonomous support series to Formula E – has unveiled the first designs of the race car to be used in the series.

The design is the work of the newly-appointed chief design officer Daniel Simon, who designed the futuristic vehicles in the Tron: Legacy and Oblivion movies, the 2011 HRT F1 team’s livery and the prototype Lotus C-01 motorcycle. By having a blank template, and no need to accommodate a driver, Simon set out to create something that took full advantage of both those points. 

“My goal was to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty,” he said. “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. Therefore – and quite unusual in today’s racing world – beauty was very high on our agenda and we worked hard to merge the best performance with stunning styling.

“It was important to us that we generate substantial downforce without unnecessary parts cluttering the car to maintain a clean and iconic look. This is largely made possible by using the floor as the main aerodynamic device and we are currently developing active body parts that are more organic and seamless than solutions today.”

“Today is an historic day for motorsport, and the car industry in general,” added Alejandro Agag, Formula E CEO. “This first image of the Robocar represents a vision of what cars will be, a vision of our future. In Formula E we are proud to promote, together with pioneers like Denis Sverdlov and Daniel Simon, a revolution in the world of motorsport, a project that will change the future of mobility”.

All teams competing in the series will have identical cars and will only be able to modify its software – with control algorithms replacing the driver, but no physical aspects of the machine may be changed. 

Roborace will also allow one crowd-sourced team to enter the series.The first Roborace “shows” will take place during the 2016/17 Formula E season.

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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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