The successful execution of these Airspeeder flights means that uncrewed electric flying car Grand Prixs known as the EXA racing series will take place in 2021 at three soon-to-be-revealed international locations.
The historic flights took place on Thursday at an undisclosed test locations in the deserts of South Australia under the observation of Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
These races will rapidly hasten the arrival of eVTOL advanced air mobility craft. This technology, predicted by Morgan Stanley to be worth US$1 trillion by 2040 is already finding applications in air logistics and remote medical care and has the potential to free cities from congestion though clean-air passenger applications like air taxis.
Under the EXA racing series, up to four teams with two remote pilots per team would compete in three individual events across the globe through 2021.
They will race "blade-to-blade" over locations inaccessible to traditional motorsport. Audiences will tune-in through global streams available on-demand. This approach reflects the changing requirements of global audiences, in particular a generation used to streaming and the ability to interact directly with the content generators they follow.
A pre-season will soon be announced and will take the form of an internal drag-race style competition between two distinct "works teams" drawn from within Alauda. These final test events will serve as an important technical and strategic shake-down before external teams are invited to prove their competitive edge against the creators of the sport.
The Alauda Aeronautics Airspeeder Mk3 EXA race-craft are remotely piloted by trained women and men. They take a seat in a simulator environment that mimics the dynamics and ergonomics of the Mk3 cockpit environment.
From there they control the Airspeeder in exactly the same way as a pilot located in the cockpit with finger-tip commands sent instantly to the physical Speeder as it plots a series of courses dictated by electronic sky-tracks. Each Airspeeder is presented to teams with identical specification, meaning it is pilot skill and team strategy that will determine race-winners. This will ensure the close competition traditional motorsport fans crave.
Physical tele-robotic avatars named "The Aviators" sit within the cockpit environment of the Airspeeder. They have been designed to represent the frame of human pilots. This will provide engineers with critical data and information on the effects of high speed racing, rapid turning, acceleration and deceleration on the human frame. This will accelerate Airspeeder’s progression to human piloted races which are scheduled in 2022.
EXA will remain the proving ground for the Airspeeder crewed racing series, providing a technical test-bed for teams and the space to develop pilot skills.
In legacy motorsport terms, EXA will take its place as the feeder series for crewed Airspeeder races in the forthcoming Alauda Mk4.
Every Airspeeder race includes rapid pit stops. To facilitate this, Alauda’s engineers have developed an innovative "slide and lock" system for the swift removal and replacement of batteries when on the ground.
Intense internal competition between in-house pit-crews has driven the pitstop time down to just 20 seconds, which is entirely comparable with any form of ground-based legacy motorsport. This is expected to continue to fall. For context, a Formula 1 pitstop used to take more than a minute.