Can Code Make a Heart Race?

Denis Sverdlov is a British-based Russian businessman and former CEO of Arrival, a British electric vehicle manufacturer.

At the 2017 Mobile World Congress, he unveiled plans for a race series for driverless or Autonomous cars, the Roborace.

Originally proposed as a support series for Formula E.

AI would control racing cars and would not require a driver.

All race cars were electric, with identical hardware and software developed by Kinetik.

The cars were controlled by real-time algorithms and ‘driven’ by developers.

Regrettably, the project was abandoned in the tail-end of 2021.

However, on 27 April 2024, the Autonomous Racing League (A2RL) held its maiden race at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Eight teams over two days wrestled with each other for the $2.5 million prize pot.

Over 10,000 spectators and 600,000 online viewers witnessed history in the making.

As to its impact, F1 is driven by attendance and viewing figures and the financial gains to sponsors.

Niki Lauda once said, ‘F1 will destroy’ itself if it becomes too safe.’

The viewing public has difficulty explaining the fascination with accidents.

The excitement of driver-controlled racing cars is very different from that of cars controlled by cutting-edge technology.

‘Autonomous car racing: where the cars need a pit stop, but the drivers don’t.’