Roborace, the autonomous racing series that will run alongside Formula E, hired Tron: Legacy lightcycle designer Daniel Simon to create its four-wheeled racers for competition. The Verge reports that these wild dog-bone-shaped creations are packed full of sensors to keep them from Maldonado-ing into each other.
In a press release quoted by The Verge, Simon says he worked with engineers and aerodynamicists to create “a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty.”
Not having to design a protective crash structure around a fragile meatbag in the middle produced something that sort of looks like a fancy rubber bone-shaped squeaktoy, but I like it nonetheless.
No specifications have been released for the Formula Squeaktoy cars yet, but Roborace’s Denis Sverdlov told Wired UK that the cars will have a top speed of over 186 mph. Simon elaborated on the team’s plans for the car’s aerodynamics in the press release as well. As quoted by Wired UK:
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.
Active aero! Think of a pop-out Porsche Cayman wing on ‘roids.
Hopefully this means that the series also will push the limits of what’s possible on four wheels. The most high-tech manned racecars today have to worry about the effects of sustained G-forces on the driver inside, and these will not. The sky is the limit as to what the autonomous series will be able to achieve, so long as they make it safe for spectators to watch as well.
This isn’t Simon’s first foray into motorsports, as his portfolio includes numerous futuristic vehicle designs as well as the brilliantly transparent “This Could Be You” HRT Formula One car livery-slash-desperate plea for cash.