Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi is new Roborace CEO
Di Grassi hopes Roborace will build public trust in autonomous cars
Driverless cars may be the future but they still have a long way to go to convince today’s motorists that they are safe.
Handing over control to a computer is a scary prospect for most drivers – three-quarters of Americans feel uneasy about riding in an autonomous car, a recent survey found – but the creators of the Roborace car hope to change minds as well as turn a few heads.
“Roborace is not a car, Roborace is a platform to promote autonomous technologies,” says reigning Formula E champion and new Roborace CEO, Lucas di Grassi.
“We need, within motorsport, a car to showcase this technology and at the same time educate the public to trust this technology.”
A prototype car, the ” Devbot,” made its track debut at a Formula E race weekend last November in Marrakesh while the first version of the Roborace car got its first track outing at the Paris ePrix in May.
Organizers say they will “develop a flexible format for the competition” for the upcoming 2017-18 season.
The plex suite of sensing equipment including cameras, radars and LIDAR.
“With Roborace we want to put these technologies in a closed environment and go beyond where motorsport can go,” di Grassi said.
“Motorsport will always be about who is the best driver but the technology has to evolve so that’s why we created Roborace – not to compete against normal drivers but to create another branch of motorsport.”
Four new cities in season 4
Di Grassi kicks off his title defense in Hong Kong on December 2. The new season will see 14 races contested across 11 cities.
“In season four we have lots of new things happening,” Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said.
“We have four new cities. We are going to Santiago in Chile, we are going Sao Paulo, Rome, Zurich … it’s a great expansion.”