Formula E announces driverless car support series

Gabriel Rossi/LatinContent/Getty Images)

Formula E has announced a support series called ROBORACE featuring driverless cars, which will start during the 2016/17 season.

Roboraces will be one-hour long, with 10 teams entering two driverless cars for each event. Hardware will be identical but teams are free to develop software and artificial intelligence technology to "drive" the cars.

All-electric series Formula E has just started its second season and has presented a unique alternative to any current motor racing category. Though it has tried to distance itself from comparisons with Formula E the series proclaims itself to be a bold vision of the future of the car and motor racing industries.

ROBORACE will be open to existing Formula E teams to enter and is primarily aimed at outfits with manufacturer links or an interest in the development of driverless technology. The announcement stays true to the series' commitment to spearhead advancements in the electric cars and the future of that industry as a whole.

Series CEO Alejandro Agag said the concept hopes to unearth "the next big idea", confirming at least one entry will be set up through crowd sourcing.

"We are very excited to be partnering with Kinetik on what is surely one of the most cutting-edge sporting events in history," Agag said, referring to the investment company pioneering the series. "ROBORACE is an open challenge to the most innovative scientific and technology-focused companies in the world. It is very exciting to create a platform for them to showcase what they are capable of and I believe there is great potential for us to unearth the next big idea through the unique crowd-sourced contest."

Further ROBORACE details are set to be announced in early 2016.