Nerd versus nerd is coming. Or is it geek versus geek? Or geek versus nerd?

Well, I don’t know, it doesn’t really matter, and although there’s some debate on the internet about those respective descriptions, they’re both meant as a compliment. They describe people who might make an autonomous car, and then try to make it go faster than another one just for the fun of it. A kind of Robot Wars for speed, only without the violence and Dara Ó Briain.

There already is the occasional autonomous racing car. There’s one called Robocarthat’s being developed to compete in a planned series called Roborace. I’m still not entirely whether it will work but Wolfgang Dürheimer, the boss of Bugatti and Bentley, as well as the Volkswagen Group’s motorsport activities, thinks that an autonomous race series is coming.

“There will be an autonomous race at Le Mans within five years,” Dürheimer predicted the other day, with the confidence of a man who knows that there will definitely be an autonomous race at Le Mans within five years.

Which is interesting. Or is it? It could be, but might not be. Some motor racing series make it hard enough to be interesting even when there are people inside the cars doing unpredictable things. Take that away and I’m not sure exactly what you’ll have. Which, I suppose, is unpredictable in itself.