Formule E has unveiled designs for its autonomous Roborace vehicles created by science-fiction movie car designer Daniel Simon.
Simon, who designed futuristic vehicles for Hollywood blockbusters including Tron: Legacy and Oblivion, has recently been appointed the chief design officer for Roborace.
A support series to run alongside the all-electric Formula E championship, Roborace is set to become the first racing event featuring fully-autonomous electric cars. The car doesn’t need a driver, which has become the main aim of the design. Simon said his goal was to create a car that would be a pleasure to look at while respecting the aerodynamic principles needed for a successful racing design.
“My goal was to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty,” Simon said. “Racing engineers and aerodynamicists have worked with me from the beginning to strike that balance. The Roborace is as much about competition as it is entertainment. Therefore - and quite unusual in today’s racing world - beauty was very high on our agenda and we work hard to merge the best performance with stunning styling.”
The floor of the car serves as the main aerodynamic device, allowing the car to generate enough downforce without requiring extra equipment.
“We are currently developing active body parts that are more organic and seamless than solutions today,” Simon said. “I am excited to be part of the daring team of people who are making this happen.”
Simon, who has previously worked as a senior designer at Bugatti, has experience with designing drones, motorcycles and spaceships. He also designed cars for the Le Mans endurance car race.
“We are honoured to have Daniel working with us on this project as chief design officer,” said Roborace CEO Denis Sverdlov. “His passion and experience are undeniable and I believe it’s already set to be one of the most iconic vehicles in automotive history. We nicknamed the competition the ‘global championship of intelligence’ as an open challenge to the world’s smartest minds, so it’s only fitting that the car should be one of the smartest ever to be made, thanks to Daniel it may also be the most beautiful car ever to touch a road surface.”
The Roborace series, to kick off during the 2016/2017 Formula E season, will see the autonomous cars racing on the same circuits as Formula E cars. The Roborace will be open to all developers of autonomous driving technologies including start-ups, established car makers, technology companies and university research groups.