First Driverless Car Race Sees Early Crash

A race between two driverless cars ended with mixed results: one car crashed, but a rogue dog that ran onto the track escaped unharmed.

The race was a test run for a planned future series of full-fledged races of driverless cars. It took place as the first performance for the latest instalment of the Formula E circuit featuring human-controlled electronic vehicles.

The contest pitted two Devbots, the first time two driverless cars of this type have publicly raced. Their programming was designed to mirror the way human drivers try to finish first but avoid crashing into one another.

Unfortunately the race didn’t even last a full lap before the two cars bumped into one another on a bend. Although that didn’t cause any damage in itself, one of the vehicles then crashed into a safety barrier.

A spokesman for Roborace, the company behind the cars, said no humans had been put at risk and that the upside was that researchers could learn from the data relating to the crash.

There was some good news with the other vehicle, which not only completed the course and hit a top speed of 186 miles per hour, but successfully slowed down and swerved to avoid hitting a dog that ran on to the track.

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