Autonomous electric racing cars will be part of the FIA Formula E Championship for the 2016/2017 season. Announced just a few days ago Formula E and Kinetik will be launching a global race series with ‘driverless’ cars competing against each other. The event, to be called ROBORACE, will take place prior to each Formula E race in the various cities around the world using the same courses.

“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. ROBORACE is a celebration of revolutionary technology and innovation that humanity has achieved in that area so far”, said Denis Sverdlov, Founder of Kinetik and ROBORACE.

Motorsports has a history of innovation with technological achievements. Breakthroughs in vehicle technology have often been tested first on the raceway where good ideas are adopted for the mass consumer market – think of technology such as all wheel drive, disk brakes, antilock braking (ABS), traction control, carbon fibre and other lighweighting materials. It’s no surprise that autonomous technology will make it’s way to the race track prior to it being more generally available.

Elon Musk has recently stated that the autopilot mode now available in his Tesla’s S and X models is a harbinger of full autonomous driving and that it will be available in just 5 years.  He also stated it will be a factor of 10 times safer than human mode.

ROBORACE will demonstrate that the future of motoring is already with us even in the most demanding of situations.  “We are very excited to be partnering with Kinetik on what is surely one of the most cutting-edge sporting events in history. 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”, CEO of Formula E, Alejandro Agag stated.