Aussie racing driver Emily Duggan announced as pilot in Airspeeder flying electric race car series, with help from Telstra Purple

    If you haven’t heard, there’s a crazy new racing category being born this year. Known as Airspeeder, the competition involves the world’s first electric flying car racing series.

    In great news for Australian technology fans, we have an Australian in the fight, with the successful racing driver, Emily Duggan announced as a pilot for Airspeeder today.

    “At heart I am a racer. I am joining Airspeeder to push the boundaries of motorsport and make
    history as the world’s first winning electric flying car racer. I’m honoured to be part of making history by developing this entirely new generation of motorsport,”

    Emily Duggan – Racing Driver/Airspeeder Pilot

    Emily has an extensive career as a successful and well-known Australian racing car driver. Known as the first female driver to race in the Australian V8 Touring Car Series, Emily has enjoyed much success on the track, scoring 12 wins, 33 podiums and 2 poles in her career.

    Emily is a hands-on developer of racing cars and regularly works on the mechanical elements of the machines she drives.

    “I worked closely with Emily in transitioning her from on the ground behind the wheel to in the air behind an augmented heads-up display. The technology Telstra Purple is developing will do more than just visually show pilots what it will look and feel like.

    It’ll help them to learn how to make faster, safer and better decisions starting in the virtual world. No one has done anything like this before, so not only is it a big transition for Emily, but it’s also an exciting opportunity to tackle problems that previously we thought impossible.”

    Tyler Nielsen, Lead Consultant Design & Innovation at Telstra Purple

    The 3 pilots announced today are:

    • Emily Duggan joins as Australia’s most successful female racing driver;
    • Zephatali Walsh joins from the Drone Champions League; and
    • Fabio Tischler has captured dynamic FPV content for the world’s leading brands including GoPro, Red Bull and Toyota.

    “This is the start of a new generation of motorsport led by some of the most talented and dynamic competitors from a wide range of motorsport and advanced air mobility backgrounds.

    This is just the beginning and we cannot wait to see Emily, Zephatali and
    Fabio plot a course to victory in the world’s first remotely piloted flying car racing series. Electric flying car racing is the most exciting and progressive form of motorsport in the world.

    We have been proud to show the potential of our Speeders in test settings but now is the time to get down to the serious business of pure sporting competition. Our first intake selected from the thousands of applicants reflects the breadth of backgrounds electric flying car racers will come from.”

    Matt Pearson, Founder, Airspeeder and Alauda

    Airspeeder is built on the philosophy that nothing accelerates technical progress like sporting competition. The next-generation sport plays the same role the pioneers of Formula One did nearly a century ago in driving technical development and building public acceptance for a new mobility revolution. The eVTOL sector is primed to transform urban aerial transport, global logistics and even remote medical transport with a clean-air, zero-emissions aerial transport solution.

    Obviously having people in flying cars is a radical concept in 2022, so to begin, there will be an EXA Series, designed as a permanent development formula to evolve the technology, ahead of Airspeeder races that would contain humans on-board while racing.

    Today, the competitors have been chosen to take part in an extraordinary development journey, ascending from elite remote pilots into true history makers as the world’s first competitors in the forthcoming Airspeeder crewed races.

    While Airspeeder prepares for the next phase of racing, Telstra Purple are supporting the crew which support their pilots by teaching them how to fly with the latest technology including:

    • training the pilots with augmented heads-up displays;
    • developing a telemetry acquisition system;
    • ensuring ultra-low-latency feedback for the pilots; and more

    At 180km/h, it takes only a second to move 50 meters. So when multiple crafts are racing at that speed, a few meters from the ground and each other, there is a tiny timeframe allowance to get a clear picture back to the pilot, giving them enough time to react. So the latency performance targets to keep racing safe are extremely strict.

    The Telstra Purple team developed a solution that captures the video remotely within these stringent requirements. The video feed from wireless transmitters is augmented with data from the telemetry system and almost instantly displayed to the pilot in the form of an Augmented Reality HUD.

    “We are receiving thousands of data points per second for each one of the speeders. We take that data and merge it. That gives us the ability to see where everything is in the 3D space, to get an accurate picture of where the speeders are, how they’re performing, and how the pilot can get the most out of the speeder.”

    Jotham Ritorze, Lead Consultant for Telstra Purple.

    Airspeeder will race across the globe in 2022.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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