Watch this robotic, driverless car take on a challenging racetrack

One day, we may be watching self-driving cars race against each other at incredible speeds, devoid of human interaction. Instead of the skill of the person taking center stage, it'll be the smarts of the AI embedded in each.

We've taken a step closer to that moment, as one of the early prototypes of that robotics race car series - dubbed Roborace - navigated its way around the challenging, iconic and complex Goodwood hill climb circuit in the UK.

The car, laden with a variety of sensors including LiDar, radar, GPS, ultrasonic and 360 cameras, powered its way around the 1.16 mile course at an impressive speed for something without human input or a safety car to follow - you can see and spin around the raw 360 footage here:

The feat was achieved largely without the use of GPS, as the tree-lined nature of the circuit made it hard to lock onto the sensor at high speed, meaning the Lidar and ultrasonic elements had to come into stronger play.

Of course this is only the opening salvo in the war of the (racing) machines, as there are still a number of teething problems to overcome - the speeds here are still down on what you might expect from a robotic car, and at a recent event in Rome TechRadar witnessed the prototype being halted on a test run without explanation.

If the series is to take off, it'll need buy in from a number of teams and engineers, as the 'host' cars will be expensive already, and then costly development will be needed to create bespoke AI that creates the very best driving machine, something that can out maneuver the car around a variety of tracks and past other competitors.

There's also still no date for the launch of the series itself - although one of the 10 teams will be a crowd-sourced set up, with engineers from around the world brought together to create their own AI.

Still, seeing the car speed around the Goodwood track is a big step forward, and puts Roborace into the same breath as esteemed car marques like Mercedes and Ferrari for completing the course - so this could be the start of the future of racing.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.