Sponsored: A nail-biting day of next-level racing awaits…

Firmly positioned as a home of exhilarating motorsports action, Abu Dhabi is set to welcome the arrival of an exciting new Autonomous Racing League, A2RL. The inaugural race will bring a thrilling need for speed to the capital’s iconic Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday April 27.

Touted as the largest autonomous racing league in the world, the A2RL will bring together cutting-edge technology and science-led sporting skills for a showcase of autonomous car races, drone races, and dune buggy races. With a cool prize pool of Dhs8.26 million, eight elite teams will descend on the UAE capital, with the finest in their fields set to battle it out at the inaugural event.

Heralding a new era of extreme sports and entertainment, the hybrid mix of virtual and real-life experiences will offer a glimpse into the future of AI and sports, and see competitors partake in a variety of gripping challenges as they race for victory. Each team will race their state-of-the-art autonomised Dallara Super Formula, SF23, racecar. But the major USP here will be that none of the racecars will have a driver. Instead, a team of highly skilled engineers, programmers, and scientists will be putting their algorithms to the ultimate test to become the first ever A2RL champion. So this isn’t just about speed, it’s about intelligent, strategic racing.

The car

Each car has been specially prepared for A2RL, and the cutting-edge marvel of motorsport mastery has an array of modifications, including its ability to sense its environment. This speed star – the fastest open wheel race car in the world after Formula One – promises to create some epic on-track action, thanks to its ability to reach blistering speeds. A futuristic model of four-wheeled action, it boasts advanced breaking capabilities, a custom-build autonomous stack, and drive-by-wire throttle control. But while the cars are provided with a basic level of autonomy, it is up to the teams to optimise, refine, and outperform one another in the collection of highly competitive challenges, through adapting and curating their software algorithms.

How to attend?

This unique experience promises to be a thrilling day out. The event is free-to-attend, but you’ll need to pre-register to secure your ticket via a2rl.io.

Doors open from 4pm, with fun activities in the fan zone including racing simulators, an AI museum, karting, food trucks, and DJ Andre Soueid on the decks. The race is scheduled for 5.30pm, with festivities continuing until 11pm.

If you can’t make it, the race will be live streamed on A2RL’s App, YouTube and Twitch channels.