Six races into the 2017 FIA Formula E series, Sebastien Buemi won for the fifth time. “It’s amazing to get the pole position and a win,” Buemi said. His close competitor, Lucas di Grassi, collided with Antonio Felix da Costa, and di Grassi failed to finish, falling farther behind in the driver’s championship run. Buemi holds a 43 point lead in the series. Jose Maria Lopez took second place in his seat at the DS Virgin team, and Mahindra Racing’s Nick Heidfeld completed the podium for his second race in a row.
As the all-electric cars maneuvered around the Les Invalides, Paris street circuit for a total of 49 laps, each driver tried to reach optimal energy efficiency while matching each others’ pace in the one-design cars.
Six races remain in the FIA Formula E Championship. These will have a slightly different format as a kind of “double header.” Two practice sessions, qualifying, and the race will take place on Saturday and again on Sunday for each of three weekends. Each of the two days per weekend will achieve full race points. Berlin will host the next two races on June 10 and 11.
Innovations Being Introduced as the 2017 FIA Formula E Championship Season Continues
The intense double race weekend format that will complete the FIA Formula E Championship this year is just one of many innovations that the series is experiencing. The Paris event offered fans an opportunity to view the first public showing of the Robocar, which is a driverless one-design electric car that is soon-to-be a support series at Formula E events.
According to Racer magazine, the Robocar uses a number of technologies to “drive” itself, including five lidars, two radars, 18 ultrasonic sensors, two optical speed sensors, six A.I. cameras, and GNSS positioning. It is powered by Nvidia’s Drive PX2 brain, which is capable of up to 24 trillion A.I. operations per second to be programmed by teams’ software engineers using complex algorithms. Fixed hardware will allow companies to develop their own driverless software and test possibilities within safety guidelines.