The FIA has revealed that safety cars could become autonomous in the future.
During an interview with Motorsport, the head of technical development for the sport, Marcin Budkowski, said that discussions have been held about a driverless safety car created to promote self-driving technologies.
“Let me give you an example, but it is not the only one: we have spoken about an unmanned safety car. It would promote a technology about which there is a bit of scepticism and, instead, it could be shown that it works.
“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,” Budkowski said.
Despite his openness to implementing self-driving technologies into the sport, Budkowski cited the upcoming Roborace championship as an example that autonomous championships probably won’t spark the interest of fans but that they could play a role in advancing technical development.
“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,” he said.
For F1 drivers who frequently complain about the AMG GT safety car going too slow, making it autonomous could be the solution.