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Self-driving electric racing cars

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A racecar with nobody at the wheel snaked around another to snatch the lead on an oval track at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Friday in a first-of-its-kind high-speed match between self-driving vehicles. But every racer was deemed a winner by organizers who saw the real victory as the fact that self-driving algorithms could handle the high-speed competition.

The race pitted teams of students from around the world against one another to rev up the capabilities of self-driving cars, improving the technology for use anywhere.

In October, the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) put the brakes on self-driving F1 cars racing together to allow more time to ready technology for challenge, opting instead to let them do laps individually to see which had the best time. 

The IAC plans to organize other races on the model of Friday’s — pitting two cars against each other, with the hope of reaching a level sufficient to one day launch all the vehicles together.