Pro Driver Takes on Self-Driving Robot in Formula E Showdown!

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‘Roborace’ is the first-ever competition that pits man against self-driving racers. But can the robot defeat man, the reigning champion of the track?

Man versus machine. It’s a competition that never ceases to fascinate us. Whether you’re talking about playing chess or simply some computer game, we always seemingly want to know if technology will ever be able to soundly defeat the human brain. But now that self-driving cars are a reality, we’ve got a whole new, incredibly intriguing man v. machine showdown to enjoy. This time, on an equally futuristic premise – Formula E.

The all-electric racing series is still relatively new, yet self-driving racers are assuredly on the way. For scientific purposes, this particular race pits Pro-drifter Ryan Tuerck in/against Roborace‘s 550 hp, all electric, all-wheel drive autonomous race car, the DevBot.

Roborace

This race is significant in more than one way, too. In fact, Tuerck is the first American to ever compete against a self-driving race car. Roborace is also the world’s first competition pitting humans against machine teams, using both self-driving and manually-controlled cars. This, The Human + Machine Challenge, is part of Roborace’s development process to improve autonomous technology. And what better way to do that than on the track, against a human driver?

The showdown takes place on the street circuit of Formula E Rome, where Tuerck takes the wheel of the DevBot to set his fastest lap time. And despite receiving a warning about the perils of braking too late, Tuerck does exactly that. Multiple times. But hey, who wants to lose to a machine? But he gets a good feel for a car he calls “ridiculously fast” and “the fastest-accelerating thing I’ve ever driven.”

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