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The Stig vs Artificial Intelligence: who wins?

A team of humans controlling an autonomous racer take on... an entity that isn't remotely human. Might have mixed this one up if we're honest

Published: 22 May 2024
15 minutes 11 seconds

Man vs machine: it’s an increasingly relevant conundrum as manufacturers pour billions into autonomous technology. So far the results have all been a bit, well… stop-start.

However, the new Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League (aka A2RL) aims to accelerate AI development through motorsport. And rather than doubling down with EVs, it’s doing it with good old-fashioned combustion-engined race cars. A fleet of Dallara-built Super Formulas, no less.

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Is the tech any good? To answer that question, we air-freighted The Stig to the Yas Marina Circuit, and lined up a race. (And yes, we realise we might have things a bit mixed up – the A2RL race car is programmed by a whole team of people, while our tame racing driver isn’t even remotely human…)

Over to Top Gear’s editor-in-chief, Jack Rix, to marshal proceedings…

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