NanoCar Race: A race for innovation

A unique race took place at the CNRS in Toulouse on 28 and 29 April: the NanoCar Race. This race is about more than pure competition – it’s an adventure in a tiny world where matter is the prime focus. The Michelin Group was a natural partner for this event, which places innovation, research and challenge at its core.



The NanoCar Race is by far the most extreme race in the world. Cars the size of a molecule face off on a genuine gold track, propelled by an electric current across the point of a nanoprobe. They must cover a distance of 100 nanometers (i.e., 3000 times smaller than the thickness of a hair) over 36 hours at –269° C. The CEMES-CNRS’ LT-Nanoprobe – the only one in the world – has four points, which makes this race possible. Six teams from the United States, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan and France attempted to drive their cars across the finish line.

At Michelin, we have always felt that competition drives innovation, and the NanoCar Race is a perfect example of this. It takes the exploration of matter deeper than ever and reveals new possibilities at the nanometric scale. We supported the NanoCar Race as a partner alongside CNRS, with whom we have been working for more than three years on several research partnerships. We are confident that this experimental competition will inspire our R&D teams even more in the race for innovation.

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NanoCar Race