1 x 1 hr
Motorcycle racer and lorry mechanic Guy Martin investigates the most disruptive new technology to be introduced to the automotive world – autonomous vehicles – and becomes the first person to ever take on an artificially intelligent racecar to discover what’s fastest – man or machine?
In just over ten years, half of all new cars sold will be electric, and 15% will be autonomous. So what does the future of transport hold for petrolheads like Guy, a man who loves traditional engines so much he has a lawnmower piston tattooed on his leg? He thinks the best way of learning is by doing, and while Silicone Valley spends millions designing next generation vehicles, Guy attempts to make his own robotic Ford Transit, at home, in his shed.
He discovers that the hard part is replicating human thought, and has to travel to Budapest to experience a fully so-called “Level 5” autonomous vehicle – ie a car that can truly think for itself. In a world’s first test, he is taken out on public roads... assuming he trusts the artificial intelligence to overtake other vehicles on the motorway.
Guy’s investigation also looks at the AI already built in to the cars made by Tesla, America’s most valuable car company, and sees him answering the dilemmas in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s morality test – designed to instruct software engineers about how to program their autonomous vehicles for emergency scenarios. Would Guy prefer his AI car to save himself or the pedestrian outside?
Finally Guy looks at the future of going fast. 20 years ago artificial intelligence was good enough to beat a grand master at chess – is it now good enough to beat a racer around a track? In a unique contest, Guy goes head to head with the artificially intelligent prototype Roboracer, in a no-holds barred race around Silverstone.
RTS Programme Awards 2018 - Science and Natural History (nomination)
Grierson Awards 2018 - Best Science Documentary (Nomination)
North One Television for Channel 4, UK
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