NEOM McLaren Formula E Team unveils world first AI-designed racing car

The AI-generated design - inspired by visions of the future provided by members of NEOM’s Graduate Program and the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team drivers - was unveiled to celebrate McLaren Racing’s 60th anniversary year ahead of this weekend’s London E-Prix where the special livery will appear on the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team race cars.

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The NEOM McLaren Formula E Team has unveiled a world first motorsport livery designed using generative artificial intelligence (AI) depicting colorful artwork on a McLaren racing car co-designed by Saudi students.

The AI-generated design - inspired by visions of the future provided by members of NEOM’s Graduate Program and the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team drivers - was unveiled to celebrate McLaren Racing’s 60th anniversary year ahead of this weekend’s London E-Prix where the special livery will appear on the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team race cars.

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Last year, NEOM announced a title partnership agreement with McLaren Formula E and Extreme E racing teams – bringing both all-electric races under the ‘NEOM McLaren Electric Racing’ banner.

Developed in collaboration between NEOM and McLaren Racing, the livery features artwork built on ideas provided by drivers René Rast and Jake Hughes, as well as four members from NEOM’s Graduate Development Program.

Each contributor provided their personal vision, which were combined in an end-to-end AI process to produce the livery.

First, the visions were processed by a text AI to create a series of prompts. Next, the prompts were used to create an individual artwork for each vision using text-to-image AI.

Finally, the six visuals were combined into one artwork using image-to-image AI, before being en-hanced to create the high-resolution graphics that McLaren Racing designers mapped onto the car.

The young Saudi NEOM Graduates, central to the design process, will join the NEOM McLaren Electric Talent Programme later this year on a twelve-month development program with the team.

It is part of an ongoing initiative that will welcome a number of Saudi graduates to the team over the next few years, with the aim of developing Saudi talent through experience within a world-renowned high-performance organization.

Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM, said: “The NEOM McLaren Formula E Team partnership supports various NEOM commitments, from driving sustainable solutions and nurturing Saudi talent through development opportunities, to delivering new technology to the world. 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.”

Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, said: ”We are delighted to work with NEOM on the creation of the first AI-designed livery in motorsport. 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.”

Saudi Arabia has invested significantly in motorsport in recent years, with the Ministry of Sport signing agreements to host Formula E, Extreme E, Formula One and the Dakar Rally.

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