Robots, Start Your Engines!

There’s nothing like a throw-down to push new technologies out to the masses. A team of high-tech gearheads is applying that age-old adage to self-driving cars, with plans to launch a new motorsport that will pit robotic cars head-to-head on long, winding racetracks. Roborace—which refers both to the sport and its organizer—wants to create an autonomous version of Formula 1 racing, where the superstars are computer programmers whose code unleashes the speed, precision and efficiency needed to take the checkered flag. A key by-product of those victories: innovations that accelerate the path of driverless passenger cars to market. Roborace’s plan to be the first championship for autonomous cars has a lot going for it, although also plenty of speed bumps to negotiate. On the plus side, the sight of a pack of driverless speed demons successfully tearing up the track at over 320 kilometers per hour could inspire greater confidence in self-driving technology. Likewise intriguing is the idea that such an event would be as much a coding competition as a car race. The biggest questions, though, surround the engineering challenges of flawless autonomous driving at high speed. Also, it is not a given that success on the track will…

Link to Full Article: Robots, Start Your Engines!

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