Indy Autonomous Challenge Unveils ‘Fastest Autonomous Vehicle Ever Developed’

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — It was announced back in 2019 before the pandemic hit, now the Indy Autonomous Challenge is still on as planned for October of 2021.

On Monday Energy Systems Network, which is running the event, unveiled the car that more than 500 undergraduate college students, graduate students, PhDs, and mentors from across the country will have to build, program, and then race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“These teams represent top engineering programs from 14 U.S. states and 11 countries, and on Oct. 23 here at the racing capital of the world, they will compete in the first-of-its-kind, head-to-head race of fully autonomous vehicles,” Paul Mitchell, president & CEO of Energy Systems Network, said.

The car is a modified Dallara IL-15, a crossover of sorts of both cars used in the Indy Lights Series and the NTT IndyCar Series.

“The Dallara-built IAC racecar is the most advanced, fastest autonomous vehicle ever developed,” Mitchell said. “Our IAC sponsors are providing radar, lidar, optical cameras, and advanced computers, bringing the value of each vehicle to $1 million.”

Mitchell and other event organizers expect to see speeds at around 200 miles-per-hour on race day.

Though Dallara and ESN have partnered to design the car, it will be up to the individual teams to retrofit and operate their own artificial intelligence software in the car in order to win the race.

The teams competing in the challenge are mostly made up of colleges and universities with programs that excel in teaching artificial intelligence. So far 39 universities in 11 countries have answered the challenge.

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