First self-driving vehicle race ends in crash

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While the DevBot vehicles are designed such that they "can be driven by a human or a computer", the versions used in the race over the weekend did not have any humans inside. Not much information about what happened to DB2 has been officially revealed, other than a tweet from the Roborace team advising that the auto had "an incident on track, leaving Devbot 1 to win". The vehicle took a corner too sharply, overcorrected, and smashed up against the wall, ending the first ever totally autonomous public race in a crash.

It's the punchline that surely everyone could see coming, but the world's first self-driving auto race really has ended in a crash. In a separate incident, DevBot 2 collided with a wall after being a bit too aggressive on a turn.

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Highlighting the fledgling nature of self-driving auto tech, the accident has shown there's still a lot of work to do before driverless cars are the foolproof, safety machines we've all been led to believe they're capable of becoming. This first event was an important step in getting to that point, as the driverless cars must be able to reliably navigate a track without accident.

Ultimately, however, it ended in a failure of the technology we've always been told will bring an end to road traffic accidents on our public streets.

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Live and learn, though, and as Formula E officials put it: "no drivers were harmed".

If Devbot 2 crashing out while attempting an overtake wasn't proof enough the cars were pushing hard, Devbot 1's pace should be. The differences will come in with the bespoke software each team writes to pilot the machines. The vehicle topped out at 115.5 miles per hour on its fastest lap.

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The Roborace series for self-driving cars is underway.

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