From Formula 1 to Formula E, where the cars are all-electric, motorsports are some of the most dynamic and public representations of technology in the automotive space. Roborace is a unique competition where the vehicles are not only electric but also autonomous.
In this Industry Tech Days 2020 keynote, Dave speaks with Lucas di Grassi, CEO of Roborace and international Formula E driving champion, and Bryn Balcombe, Chief Strategy Officer of Roborace, give perspective on how autonomous electric racing pushes the innovation of AI, EVs, vision systems, and more in the automotive field. The keynote session was followed by a live Q&A with the audience at the time of recording.
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About Lucas di Grassi
Born in Sao Paulo, Lucas di Grassi is one of developers of the highly successful, electric-powered Formula E. Lucas also is a member of the board and developer of Roborace, the racing series for electric cars run by artificial intelligence which is set to become the most efficient developing environment for connected AI-based technology. Recently, Lucas was announced as partner and ambassador for the Electric Scooter Championship (eSC), a new international series aimed to promote both competition and technology development for urban micro-mobility.
Di Grassi drew international attention when he drove a Formula E car on the North Pole ice cap to set an alert to global warming. In May 2018, Lucas was appointed ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program with the mission to increase awareness about poor urban air quality, which causes over 6 million premature deaths around the world.
Lucas is the most relevant driver of the FIA Formula E history having amassed the impressive sequence of three thirds and a second championship season places, plus the 2017 world title. Having previously competed in Formula One, di Grassi is again a title contender of FIA World Formula E Championship for the official Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler team.
About Bryn Balcombe
Bryn Balcombe is the Chief Strategy Officer for Roborace. He received his BEng in Mechanical Engineering and Vehicle Design from the University of Hertfordshire. Balcombe previously spent 16 years working with Formula One racing, architecting communication systems for vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity, as well as implementing the Formula One Global Media Network. He has experience on projects ranging from circuit development to full tracking systems and automated vehicles.
Balcombe is the founder of ADA.ngo, a non-profit alliance developed to ensure the safe and ethical deployment of human-centric artificial intelligence in automotive applications to prevent road traffic injuries. ADA.ngo supports the use of motorsports as a means of accelerated R&D for automotive AI.
He additionally serves as the Chair of ITU Focus Group on AI for Autonomous and Assisted Driving for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU FG-AI4AD), where this focus group serves as a forum for international organizations such as governments and research institutions can collaborate to evaluate AI-assisted and automated vehicle safety.