What would the sport of racecar racing be like if the race cars were robots?

racecar2

I was wondering today what it would be like for motorsports if you took the drives out of racecars. And made them remotely piloted or autonomous. We are on the cusp of this idea being technically possible. I bet those cars could go around the track even quicker if they didn’t have to haul around -and try to keep alive- a human driver while hurtling around a track. They could go really fast.

Engineering challenges aside from making a driverless or fully autonomous racecar, would it still be fun to watch? Can you get emotionally invested in a contest of robots?

If at the next airshow they had predator drone racing, would you go see?

Of course without the risk to human pilots, you could take it a step further. Those racecars could really battle each other. Or my personal vote, machine gun-mounted robot biplane dogfights. Now that would be a sport.

Partly related: Darpa Grand Challenge

  • If you take racing, move the driver outside of the car, and add fighting, you’ve just recreated BattleBots. BattleBots (and the fighting robot competitions that persist despite the Comedy Central show going off the air six years ago) is a ton of fun to participate in and watch, so I expect a similar competition with more racing and less fighting would also be very fun.

    At one point there were even a couple ‘bot builders in Vegas that were building ~2,000 lb bots out of cars. 🙂

  • If you take racing, move the driver outside of the car, and add fighting, you’ve just recreated BattleBots. BattleBots (and the fighting robot competitions that persist despite the Comedy Central show going off the air six years ago) is a ton of fun to participate in and watch, so I expect a similar competition with more racing and less fighting would also be very fun.

    At one point there were even a couple ‘bot builders in Vegas that were building ~2,000 lb bots out of cars. 🙂

  • Jonas Brandon

    big in japan… http://bit.ly/M7Mb8

  • Jonas Brandon

    big in japan… http://bit.ly/M7Mb8

  • Wes

    I watched coverage of that DARPA competition earlier this year and it was fascinating! I was totally glued to the TV. I don’t think “remote controlled” devices (like battlebots) is what I’m thinking of here, but more like the DARPA competition where the vehicles are totally autonomous. Awesome stuff!

  • Wes

    I watched coverage of that DARPA competition earlier this year and it was fascinating! I was totally glued to the TV. I don't think “remote controlled” devices (like battlebots) is what I'm thinking of here, but more like the DARPA competition where the vehicles are totally autonomous. Awesome stuff!