The organisers of Formula E, an electric car race, have announced it will introduce a driverless championship from next year.
The Robo-race series will provide a “competitive platform for the autonomous driving solutions being developed”, it said.
The races will take place on the same circuits in major cities used by Formula E.
Many traditional carmakers are developing autonomous vehicles.
“Robo-race is an open challenge to the most innovative scientific and technology-focused companies in the world,” said Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag.
Denis Sverdlov, founder of Kinetik, which is a partner in the initiative, said: “We passionately believe that, in the future, all of the world’s vehicles will be assisted by AI and powered by electricity, thus improving the environment and road safety”.
“Robo-race is a celebration of revolutionary technology and innovation that humanity has achieved in that area so far.”
One of the teams will be organised as a crowdsourced community team which, organisers said, would be open to both experts and hobbyists.
Formula E has been operating for two years and has become well-known for crowdsourcing initiatives such as allowing fans to vote to give their favourite driver a boost during races.
London’s Formula E race is due to take place in Battersea Park in June next year but faces opposition from local residents.