Daniel Simon loves motor racing and he’s especially passionate about Formula 1. He’s created a number of art pieces and developed a series of books that revolve around a future racing scenario and a fictional racing driver — the Timeless Racer. So it should come as no surprise that the avid racing fan and automotive futurist should join an autonomous racing project for Formula E.
When we interviewed Simon a few years ago, he mentioned his uncertainty of what the future would hold — “Will we be racing drones? Or will we gather to watch a drone race?” he asked speculatively. It now seems that he’s answered that question for himself, becoming chief design officer for autonomous race car series Roborace and developed its first car with the help of engineers and aerodynamicists.
Renowned for his work on Hollywood sci-fi films such as “Tron: Legacy” and “Oblivion”, Simon was previously employed by Volkswagen and was a senior designer at Bugatti. He later went on to design spaceships in his Cosmic Motors book, a motorcycle for Lotus, liveries for the 2013 Lotus Le Mans LMP2 car and the Red Bull Air Race plane for pilot Nicolas Ivanoff. Over the course of his career he’s brought to life numerous virtual, conceptual and tangible vehicles.
“We’re living in a time where the once separated worlds of the automobile and artificial intelligence collide with unstoppable force. It’s fantastic to be part of this journey; it triggers all my big passions — motor racing, design and advanced technologies,” Simon said of his latest project.
“My 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.”
“It was important to us that we generate substantial downforce without unnecessary parts cluttering the car to maintain a clean and iconic look,” Simon adds. “This is largely made possible by using the floor as the main aerodynamic device and we are currently developing active body parts that are more organic and seamless than solutions today.”
The first Roborace ‘shows’ will take place during the 2016/2017 Formula E season with disruptive and innovative new formats showcasing safety and extreme driving capabilities.
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