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Driverless cars for roads not race track, says Wolff

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Driverless cars for roads not race track, says Wolff
By:
Dec 26, 2015, 12:33 PM

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes driverless cars belong on the roads not the race track – as he questioned the interest fans will have in the new Formula E support series.

Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
Roborace
Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing
Alejandro Agag, CEO Formula E
Stéphane Sarrazin, Venturi
Denis Sverdlov, Kinetic founder and Alejandro Agag, head of Formula E
ROBORACE announcement, with Kinetic and Formula E

Formula E bosses had announced plans for Roborace – a championship for driverless cars to showcase new technology.

But the proposal has drawn scepticism from Wolff, who thinks that while the technology will become commonplace on the roads, it is not something that should be put to use on circuits.

“Autonomous driving is going to eventually happen on the road with road cars, and is going to make our lives easier,” said Wolff.

“And that is the way that technology goes. We are all here mostly because we like to see racing drivers racing each other in machines that are fascinating to watch.

"So that is not at all what I would consider a sport; it is a technology or R&D playing field.”

When asked if Mercedes was interested in driverless technology, Wolff said: “On roads yes. Not on the race tracks”

Human interest

FE boss Alejandro Agag conceded himself that fans may not get too excited at seeing driverless cars competing against each other.

"I think people will always want to see human beings race each other - since the time of the Romans or before we've been seeing that. And we will see that in the future,” he said.

"But this is a different kind of challenge. This is an invitation to companies to really raise to the challenge and put their technology on a platform that will show that driverless technology can race in extreme conditions."

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Series Formula E
Author Jonathan Noble