Here’s What Formula One Could Look Like in 2050

McLaren just shared its vision for the all-electric future of motorsport.

McLaren's vision of a 2050 electric Formula 1 car. (Credit: McLaren Applied Technologies)
McLaren's vision of a 2050 electric Formula 1 car. (Credit: McLaren Applied Technologies)

Some race fans are worried that the all-electric future of Formula One will lack some of the excitement – and noise – F1 racing has had in the past.

In order to quell their fears, McLaren’s Applied Technologies group underwent an “extensive research process” and came up with a vision of the future to keep the sport fun and watchable.

Designed to compete far in the future in 2050, the team created a shape-shifting concept called MCLExtreme which is capable of hitting speeds in excess of 310 mph, thanks in part to sidepods that expand and contract like the gills of a shark.

To help pilot the car efficiently around the track, the driver will rely on an AI co-pilot instead of a pit crew and also wear a helmet with sensors which will allow the onboard computer to learns and predicts the driver’s preferences and state-of-mind.

McLaren sees F1 drivers integrating with AI tech in the future. (Credit: McLaren Applied Technologies)

“In the future we could get to the point where human ingenuity is replaced with an AI algorithm,” said McLaren Applied Technologies head of modeling and decision science Karl Surmacz. “Machine learning would see human preferences and decisions, as well as our domain expertise and instinct, captured. Take enough examples of our creative processes and outcomes, and this could be codified into an algorithm which would enable AI to make creative decisions consistent with those of a human counterpart.”

Here’s a video with even more details about what the marque sees coming down the pike for motorsport.

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