This Self-Driving Car is Built for Racing, Without People

Self-driving cars have been a pipe dream, until now. Not only are they quickly becoming a real possibility for use in everyday life, but they will soon enter the racing sphere. Yep, that’s correct. Racing will become more dangerous than ever before.

Justin Cooke, chief marketing officer of Roborace, says he wants people to see the innovation like it’s a Tron, or a “Star Wars spaceship.”

Roborace is a company dedicated to, surprisingly, robotic racing. A product that would surely make racing safer but would also eliminate the human element from it.

The company showed off this new vehicle at the Mobile World Congress to Barcelona to much acclaim. Onlookers were especially enamored by the unique, spider-like design.

The car will be electric, and with a weight of 2,149 pounds it will be smaller than an average Formula One race car. Although it initially aimed to have 20 cars ready to race during the 2017 season, that goal might fall a tad short. The process of making an autonomous car isn’t easy, as companies like Google, Uber, and Tesla have admitted. It’s an expensive process with a lot of bureaucratic red tape in the way.

Nonetheless, it’s a pretty monumental moment for the future of driverless electric technology to come forward with this vehicle now. As Roborace race founder Denis Sverdlov said in Barcelona this week, “This is a huge moment for Roborace as we share the Robocar with the world and take another big step in advancing driverless electronic technology.

In Racecar Engineering, Sam Collins notes that autonomous racing could lead to some pretty phenomenal outcomes in terms of speed and precision. By removing the human element, there is really no limiting factor preventing the vehicle from setting new records.

Meanwhile, the world of non-driverless race cars is having some questions regarding the Formula 1’s 2017 aerodynamic package set to make overtaking one’s opponents harder than ever. Iconic driver Lewis Hamilton drove the track with others and said, “I was behind a couple of cars out there and it was harder to follow, as we expected.”

Part of the change is due to increased speeds created by wider tyres. Still, drivers feel that the course could produce dangerous outcomes. Could this support the argument for driverless cars? Eh, more than anything it supports the idea of safer courses.

As we’ve stated in past articles, don’t expect this technology to be mainstreamed in the next couple years. It’ll be more like 10 or more.

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