Formula E is a racing series of electric cars on circuits around the world. The series is currently in its third season and growing. More mass-market car manufacturers are entering the race and include Jaguar, Audi, Renault, Citroen and BMW. The urgency from the car manufacturers comes from the technology and innovation that can be gained by participanting in the burgeoning electric car market. Here are two really cool things that Formula E is working on.
Virtual reality viewing
Formula E is truly at the edge of technology when it comes to the fan experience. It has gained a reputation for using social media and features like fan boost to engage its fan base. This time around Formula E has gone a step further and brought a virtual reality experience of the races to its fans. The highlights of its 2015/2016 season have been made available on the Virtual Live platform, HTC’s Viveport, Steam and later in the year Oculus. The content is free.
You will be able to move around the entire track, pit lane or the VIP club freely. You can also follow any of the 18 drivers and watch real-time stats. The VR experience will also have a guided feature that automatically shifts you to key moments in the race. The graphics are not realistic but are good enough to provide a good experience.
Although the virtual reality experience is only available for highlights of the second season, Formula E hopes that it will be able to provide live feeds during the 2016/2017 season.
Roborace: Racing series of driverless cars
With all the talk about smart cars and driverless vehicles, you had to know this was coming. 2016 could be the year for the inaugural Roborace. The Roborace will feature driverless electric cars racing against each other. The Roborace is a partnership between FIA Formula E and investment company Kinetik. The Roborace could run on the same schedule as the 2016-2017 FIA Formula E calendar as a support series.
Roborace is a car series of 10 teams, each with two cars to race. All the 20 cars will be mechanically identical. The competition is purely based on the real time computing of algorithms and artificial intelligence technologies. The technology company Nvidia will provide the artificial Intelligence super computer that will enable the cars to navigate the circuit autonomously. The race tracks are the same ones that the Formula E races will be run on. The Roborace car was designed by Daniel Simon, he lent his design skills to the Tron: Legacy and Oblivion movies.
The cars are expected to be capable of top speeds of more than 300 km/h (190 mph). Now imagine cars silently racing that fast, without drivers in them. Exhilarating, right?
Source: FIA Formula E
Image: Top Gear