‘Roborace’ car makes its road debut in Marrakech

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Driverless electric racer completes a successful track test in Marrakech, Morocco

The planned Roborace series will see autonomous cars compete in Formula E ePrix weekends


It’s a car equipped with technology that its developers boldly predict will transform our cities and change the way we live.

The autonomous “DevBot # 1” took a huge leap forward in Morocco recently and made its debut on a street track at the Formula E Marrakech ePrix.

The battery-powered prototype is being tested for Roborace – a proposed racing series where driverless cars will compete on temporary city circuits.

“This is the first time we’ve driven Devbot in driverless mode on a Formula E track in the middle of a city street,” Roborace’s Justin Cooke told CNN.

“It’s so exciting for the team that puts hours and hours of work in. These guys were up until 1-2 in the morning and developed a technology that no one else in the world is capable of doing at this speed and in these complex environments. ”

Read: Electric race car shows driverless future

Using a variety of sensors – including GPS, radar and ultrasound – connected to sophisticated computer programs, the car learns how to navigate a track at speed and avoids all obstacles.

“What we are doing is at the forefront of technology right now,” says Cooke, who is also CMO for Kinetik – an investment company founded by Russian businessman Denis Sverdlov, which provides financial support for the project.

“There are two or three kinds of space races, if you will – some people are going to Mars, we are developing robot cars, and I think it is probably one of the most, if not the most exciting space in the world right now. ”

After the successful 30-minute test in Marrakech – this year’s host of the UN Climate Conference (COP22) – Cooke says the company will next time try to drive two cars together on the track with the ultimate goal of having up to 10 cars competing at . every Formula E ePrix weekend.

“Being here at COP22 as we celebrate an electric future, a driverless future – that’s the perfect time for Roborace,” Cooke said excitedly.

Visit cnn.com/motorsport for more news and features in Formula E.

“We want more than anything else that people should be excited about technology because it will change our lives, it will transform our cities.”

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