product design

robocar

Roborace is British company with the goal to create the first global autonomous racing car series. They have offices in London, Heyford, and Los Angeles. Roborace provides two different cars as open A.I. platforms with fixed hardware – Robocar and DevBot 2.0 – for corporate and private teams to develop and showcase their own driverless software. The Roborace series is designed to be a competition of intelligence, and to push the limits in an extreme, safe, competitive, and entertaining environment.

Roborace founder Denis Sverdlov hired Daniel Simon as Chief Design Officer ( CDO ) in January 2016. Simon was tasked immediately with creating a functional and iconic vehicle, which would be both an ambassador for the visionary ideas of Roborace, and a practical development car for the ultimately envisioned racing series.

Unusual for a racing car, the team trusted Simon with extreme freedom. Engaging engineering, battery specialist, and aerodynamicists, the car is as tightly packaged as possible, and does not offer any space for a passenger. It creates an enormous amount of downforce by maintaining low drag. With the increasingly successful Formula E has an umbrella event for the first Roborace appearances, basic FIA regulations were included into the design.

The Robocar is being continuously tested and developed in the UK. It had a first public track outing during the Formula E-Prix in Paris 2016, during which it performed a single low speed lap. It has been on public display worldwide, such as in London, New York, Frankfurt, Munich, Monaco, Detroit, and Las Vegas. To engage the public in the progress, Roborace showcases the so called DevBot during each Formula E event on track. It is a demonstration car which shares many components with the Robocar, but is built on an LMP2 chassis which allows a development driver to be on board.

The Robocar is 4.80 m long, 2.00 m wide, with a weight of approx. 1000 kg. The 4 electric motors are powered by a 540 kWh battery. The sensor array includes 5 lidars, 2 radars, 15 ultrasonics, and 6 cameras. The official technology partners are Nvidia who provides the PX2 brain, and Michelin, who provides the tires.

In March of 2019, Robocar set a Guinness World Record for the fastest autonomous car, at 282 km/h.

After completion of Robocar, Daniel Simon and team designed the DevBot 2.0 car. It is based on a Ginetta LMP3 chassis and shares many components with Robocar, and offers a cockpit for a development driver or passenger.

In Roborace’s vision of the future, the software is the star, but car designer Daniel Simon gets the Oscar for supporting actor.

Wired

Life imitating art… imitating life. Or something like that. This is Daniel Simon’s ‘Roborace’ autonomous racing car, and it is quite simply, one of the best things we’ve ever seen.

Top Gear

Simon’s Robocar is a striking, stripped back piece of elemental design, shorn of the need for a human-machine interface.

Wallpaper*

 

The result is automotive design reduced to its purest form, where the often mercurial and sentimental tendencies of the race car driver have been eliminated entirely.

Hypebeast

 

It looks like something straight out of a sci-fi film — and that’s probably because this new driverless car has been designed by the man who brought us the vehicles in the movie TRON: Legacy.

CNN

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 go beyond where motorsport can go.

Lucas di Grassi, CEO Roborace

 

Our goal was to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver, without ever compromising on beauty. Racing engineers and aerodynamicists have worked with me from the beginning to strike that balance.

Daniel Simon, Chief Design Officer Roborace