A driver-less Safety Car in F1? Believe it says Budkowski

Safety Car
© XPB 

It may sound a bit paradoxical but F1 could actually roll out a driver-less Safety Car in the future in a bid to promote autonomous technology.

The idea has been submitted by Marcin Budkowski who heads the FIA's F1 technical department in   an interview with Motorsport.com.

As the automotive industry moves towards electric powered cars, autonomous driving is in tow with almost all major manufacturers gradually integrating the driverless tech in their high end models.

Budkowski said discussions about showcasing autonomous driving within the F1 platform are already underway.

"It would promote a technology about which there is a bit of scepticism and, instead, it could be shown that it works," says the FIA official.

"The safety car driver would no longer be essential, because it would leave the controls to the computer.

But we must be aware of the attraction of [F1] race cars without drivers: the engineers would love it, but not the fans."

 Indeed, from safety cars to F1 cars, autonomous technology engineers could be lurking although Budkowski believes the existing Roborace concept will would likely be the preferred recipient for advanced tech in the field. 

"I see it [Roborace] as a very interesting thing, which pushes things in one direction. But can this idea of having no F1 driver captivate millions around the world? Frankly I have doubts.

"However, using the motorsport platform to promote to the public new technologies, like an unmanned safety car, or events like Roborace, can be fantastic in exploring the possibility of new solutions." 

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