LONDON—Roborace, a new venture working to develop a series for driverless race cars, has named Michelin Motorsports its official tire partner.
Roborace, which recently completed a successful test of its technology with a prototype "mule," hopes to be able to field a series starting this year.
Michelin Motorsports said it will use "next-generation" road-going tires for the series, which will run as a companion to the Formula E electric racing series now in its third season and for which Michelin is the spec tire supplier.
Michelin's role as tire supplier extends to helping Roborace develop its car. Roborace has been testing its mule the past few months at Michelin's testing facility in Ladoux, France.
"We expect our partners to be bold and to believe in a driverless future where our cities are greener, safer, quieter and smarter in ways that improve everyday lives," said Roborace CEO Denis Sverdlov.
"Michelin impressed us every time we met, and they deeply understand the powerful opportunity of what road travel will become. They are pushing us, and themselves, to develop a world that moves from possibility to reality. Their commitment to safety and innovation, and the way we inspire each other to design the best possible solutions makes this a perfect partnership."
Michelin is the third global partner to be announced by Roborace, after Nvidia, which will provide Robocar's A.I. brain with Drive PX2 technology, and Charge, the smart electric truck maker that will supply all power electronics.
"We have been following the championship's progress very closely and have been testing privately with them for some time," Michelin Motorsport Director Pascal Couasnon said. "We are very impressed by the speed at which Roborace has been developing driverless technology and hardware for its championship. Driverless technology is coming and we want to be at the forefront in terms of research and development."
Roborace has yet to disclose who will own or operate the series' "robocars," or what format the series will adopt.