Who's quicker: a racing driver or a robot?

Is it time for Ryan Tuerck to hang up his racing boots and surrender to coding?
DevBot vs Ryan

You’ve met DevBot, haven’t you? The driverless development vehicle for Formula E’s upcoming autonomous series Roborace? Well, if you haven’t, prepared to have your mushy mind blown. 

See, unlike traditional racing where us puny, fleshy humans sweat it out to be the fastest around a race track, the future of racing will be a battle of algorithms, not of drivers. Roborace will see twenty identical cars run different software from rival teams and duke it out on track with no one behind the wheel.

The proposed cars look, as you’d expect, quite futuristic. It’s the work of Daniel Simon, a man whose past includes the creation of the futuristic vehicles in the Hollywood blockbuster Tron: Legacy.

But before they’re let loose, we’ve got DevBot. For the last year, it’s been following the Formula E circus doing laps and hoovering up AI data. As you can see, the DevBot prototype has a space for a human driver though. At each circuit, a driver hops in first and goes around the track first to check the car’s mechanical and electric systems are in order. Then DevBot drives itself on a slow data-acquisition lap, sensing the boundaries of the track and figuring out a racing line. Finally, the driver switches to AI mode, and walks away.

Author: TopGear
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