Roborace: Zero emission, zero drivers

Imagine a blue-ribbon racing formula with no sulking drivers, no expletive-laden pit radio messages…in fact, no human behind the wheel at all. Well, that’s what the tech support at Roborace are trying to achieve – a zero-emission racing series with zero drivers.

While there’s obviously some way to go before a race that doesn’t involve human drivers comes to fruition, Roborace made some strides recently when its fully-electric development mule, the DevBot, lapped the Marrakech circuit in a demo run held in conjunction with the Formula-E race at Morocco.

DevBot completed 12 laps in total, its feat presented in a surreal, almost eerie YouTube video; including navigating the out-lap from the pit lane, 10 tours of the street circuit with incremental speed increases, and an in-lap. It wouldn’t be the first ever vehicle that lapped a circuit autonomously and I can’t fathom artificial intelligence substituting human drama, but like all technologies that are being trialled on race tracks, some will likely find their way to production cars because humans can’t be trusted to safeguard the well-being of fellow humans. Hmmm…isn’t that how Skynet began?