Economy, Sci & Tech

Formula E to Go Autonomous

Formula E to Go Autonomous Formula E to Go Autonomous

Fully autonomous vehicles roaming public roadways are still many years away but if racing organizer Formula E has its way, you’ll be able to watch self-driving cars compete on the track next season.

Formula E, which hosted its first all-electric championship series last year, is partnering with Kinetik on the initiative.

Dubbed RoboRace, the series will feature 10 teams (with two cars each) competing in hour-long races held before scheduled Formula E events, according to Tech Spot.

Each of the 20 self-driving cars will be identical, forcing teams to focus their efforts on developing the artificial intelligence and algorithms to guide their cars during the race.

Curiously enough, Formula E said one team will be a crowd-sourced community team led by software and technology experts.

Denis Sverdlov, Kinetik founder, said they 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.

While not much has been revealed about the actual cars that will be used, a spokesperson for Kinetik said they have a top speed of around 300km/h (186 mph).

As The Verge points out, that would make them faster than the human-driven Formula E cars that top out at around 140 mph. In fact, RoboRace vehicles would be the fastest autonomous vehicles in the world, besting Audi’s 560 horsepower driverless RS 7 which managed to hit 149 mph last year.