Airspeeder, the world’s first racing series for electric flying racing cars, has signed a multi-million dollar technical partnership with Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company.

The racing series, created by the world’s only performance electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) manufacturer, Alauda Aeronautics will utilise Telstra’s suite of connectivity technologies to deliver its global series of electric flying car races. 

The partnership will see Telstra’s world-leading implementation of 5G driven technologies support Airspeeder in its vision to accelerate the electric flying car mobility revolution. Racing provides an important place and a space to rapidly develop key safety, powertrain and engineering elements that will hasten the arrival of an advanced air-mobility future.

Matt Pearson, Founder, Airspeeder and Alauda Aeronautics, said: “In delivering on our vision to create the world’s first racing series for electric flying cars we have drawn to South Australia some of the very best technical minds from motorsport, aviation and performance automotive. We are delighted to add to this incredible talent pool the capabilities of Australia’s most celebrated telecommunications company.

“Together, we will hasten the arrival of a new mobility technology that has been promised for generations whilst bringing a new form of motorsport to millions of fans across the globe from some of the world’s most remote and beautiful locations.” 

Alauda Aeronautics designs, engineers and builds the racing craft that participate in all Airspeeder racing events, while Airspeeder EXA Series is Airspeeder’s first racing series. It is where remote pilots take control of the world’s first full-scale electric flying cars and will serve as the technical and pilot proving ground for the world’s first crewed electric flying car races. Airspeeder is the forthcoming crewed racing series, which will race across the globe in 2022. 

For flying cars to safely reach their potential as an urban transport solution, a mobile fast-network infrastructure has to exist. For Telstra, Airspeeder represents the perfect testing ground for connectivity and data management technologies, enabled by 5G.

Telstra’s support of Airspeeder races will therefore create the technologies today that will underpin the digital infrastructure for autonomous and piloted passenger electric vehicles to cities across the world. 

Head of Telstra Purple, Christopher Smith said it played a vital role in supporting Airspeeder’s demanding requirements in this new-age sporting and entertainment experience.

He said: “Cutting-edge racing requires cutting-edge capability which we’ve delivered through Telstra Purple’s extensive expertise, technical capabilities and our strategic collaboration agreement with AWS, combined with Australia’s most advanced 5G. 

“Key components of Airspeeder’s race control system include private network communications, data visualisation, edge compute power and bespoke app development. Our communications expertise is critical for a sport that is driven by data from the ground up; the high speeds, low latency and high-capacity connectivity of Telstra 5G will change the way car racing is experienced.

“Just as Formula One has driven innovation for the cars we use today, Airspeeder’s vision for the world’s first electric flying car racing series has the potential to transform the way we move around cities.”

Historic first flights of the Airspeeder, Mk3, the world’s first fully-functioning, full-sized flying electric race car took place in the deserts surrounding the firm’s Adelaide-based Technical HQ in June 2021. First remotely piloted ‘EXA Series’ races will also take place this year.

Airspeeder’s vision is to deliver the world’s first fully piloted flying car Grand Prix through 2022 and beyond. These will be staged where motorsport has never previously been able to go, in some of the most visually arresting and remote scenery on the planet. 

Telstra’s rapid deployment solutions play a vital role in making this possible delivering full 5G connectivity in some of the world’s remotest settings. 

TELSTRA 5G ENABLING SAFETY AND PERFORMANCE:

This connectivity is vital to a sport and technology that is driven by data from the ground up. For example, in developing the Mk3 racecraft, Alauda Aeronautics has created a suite of safety technologies known as the Virtual Forecefield. This will pioneer a systems-based approach to safety that will transition from racing into mainstream consumer passenger usage. 

As part of this approach, Telstra’s 5G technologies will ensure the race-craft are in constant communication with each other. This means pilots, whether manoeuvring the craft remotely or from the cockpit will be able to fly closely without physically touching. This will ensure close but ultimately safe racing with Speeder’s digitally bumping rather than touching via haptic alerts to the pilot sent when a racecraft reaches close proximity to its competitor. 

Terabytes of essential racing and telemetry data will also be streamed to ground crews. Indeed, Telstra has developed a real-time virtual race-control system that feeds essential technical status information to them throughout races and test flights. This reflects the approach employed by leaders in aviation in augmenting aircraft safety through constant on-the-ground digital monitoring of essential systems. 

GLOBAL STREAMING:

As a truly progressive global sport, Airspeeder will pioneer an entirely new approach to broadcasting its races. Global audiences will be able to watch and interact with the sport through a streaming-first approach more akin to eSports than traditional sport broadcasting. 

Through its Broadcast Services division, Telstra has also developed innovative approaches to bringing broadcast audiences close to the action. This includes the management of all on-board cameras for leading motorsport entities. Together with Alauda’s engineering and design teams, Telstra has developed a network of camera placements that delivers true pilot perspective to the millions of viewers streaming races across the globe.