NEOM McLaren's AI Racecar Livery Previews Sustainable Racing Future
NEOM McLaren's new AI-designed car livery fuses innovation and sustainability, giving a glimpse into how artificial intelligence could optimize and transform electric racing.
NEOM McLaren Formula E Team recently unveiled a first-of-its-kind racecar livery designed using artificial intelligence. The futuristic graphics will adorn the electric vehicles at this weekend's London E-Prix, celebrating McLaren Racing's 60th anniversary. While aesthetically striking, the AI-generated livery also provides a glimpse into how automation and sustainability could transform motorsports.
The design resulted from a collaboration between Saudi development project NEOM and McLaren Racing. It incorporates visions of the future from NEOM graduate program members and NEOM McLaren drivers like René Rast and Jake Hughes.
Each contributor submitted their vision which were processed by an AI text-to-text system into a series of prompts. AI then created individual artworks for each prompt using text-to-image generation. Finally, the visuals were blended into one livery design using image-to-image AI.
As Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM explained, "We have leveraged creative and innovative technology to create the AI-generated livery to celebrate a milestone in McLaren’s history through visions of the future.”
Sustainable Design Process
While visually striking, the livery's development process could preview sustainability gains. The automated, digital design techniques used no physical paints or materials. As Formula E continues spotlighting electric vehicles, dematerialized AI-aided livery creation eliminates waste.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown touched on the livery's innovation and eco-potential, saying: "When the car takes its place on the grid in London this weekend, it will mark a key moment in celebration of McLaren Racing’s 60th anniversary. McLaren has a long history of innovation in motorsport and beyond, so as we celebrate our past, it’s just as important to look to the future and continue to break new ground.”
Further AI Advances
NEOM McLaren's livery hints at broader AI potential in racing tech. Beyond design, automated systems could enable aerodynamic optimization to develop higher-performing electric cars faster. AI computing power applied to drag, downforce and other factors could rapidly test permutations.
IndyCar team Arrow McLaren SP already utilizes AI and machine learning to scrutinize sensor data. The automated analysis identifies patterns and strategies their human engineers may miss. As AI becomes further ingrained into motorsports, these innovations may ultimately enable safer, more sustainable electric racing.
Core Partnership Values
The forward-thinking Values underlying the NEOM McLaren Formula E partnership propelled this AI livery creation. As Al-Nasr explained, the team supports NEOM's sustainability commitments and developing Saudi talent.
NEOM graduate program members who contributed visions were central to the livery design process. They will soon join the NEOM McLaren Electric Talent Programme for a year-long development experience in racing.
Brown echoed the partnership's collaborative ethos and dual outlook: “NEOM and McLaren Racing share a common vision in using technology to imagine a better future, making this collaboration a natural fit. The organisation has demonstrated a pioneering mindset and inventiveness which mirrors our own.”
Pioneering Sustainable Racing
With Formula E surging in popularity, NEOM McLaren's AI livery underscores the growing symbiosis between sustainability and innovation in motorsports. Their collaborative, future-focused ethos led them to push boundaries and reimagine racecar design.
The automated process pioneered here highlights untapped potential. As AI streamlines and optimizes racing developments, purpose-driven partnerships like NEOM McLaren's could steer innovation toward more sustainable electric racing.
So while NEOM McLaren's computer-generated car graphics may seem purely aesthetic, they provide an early signpost of how AI, automation and sustainability may transform racing's future. The visionary once again leads the way.