Roborace self-driving race car homepage 2022

A star of early self-driving, it might be farewell to the Roborace race series.

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End of the road for self-driving race series Roborace?

Thanks to Autocar for alerting us to the fact that the Roborace self-driving race series may be no more.

Roborace was established in 2015 by British-based Russian businessman Denis Sverdlov’s Kinetik Group.

Self-driving media boost

Its media profile was boosted by Formula E champion Lucas Di Grassi becoming CEO from 2017 to 2019.

Formerly Russia’s Deputy Minister of Communications, Sverdlov is now best known as the founder and CEO of electric vehicle startup, Arrival.

It was therefore no surprise when Roborace was acquired by Arrival.

Roborace self-driving race car 2019
Roborace self-driving race car 2019

While there had been plans to create a full race series, to be held before Formula E events, the vision never transpired.

Video of a less than successful test – when the car did a sharp right off the start line and crashed straight into a wall at Thuxton – went viral.

However, we prefer to look back at Roborace’s finest hour, in 2018, when it became the first self-driving car to climb the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed:

Roborace at Goodwood  in 2018

In May, Autocar reported filings showing that Roborace has been renamed Arrival R, with a focus on “interactive leisure and entertainment software”.

Arrrival commented: “We have made the decision to explore various strategic alternatives with regards to Roborace’s future and are in active discussions with potential partners.”

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Author: Neil Kennett

Neil is MD of Featurebank Ltd. He launched in 2019.