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.

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