University teams will race autonomous open-wheel cars at Indy for $1M

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Nine teams made up of students from 21 universities head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week to compete as finalists in the Indy Autonomous Challenge. The teams’ autonomous open-wheel cars are competing for $1 million in prize money, thanks to a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

The racetrack has long been a testing ground for vehicle technology on the road, and autonomy is no exception. “[T]The primary goal of the IAC is to advance technology that can accelerate the commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles and the implementation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS),” the IAC said.

The teams are:

    AI Racing Tech, University of Hawai’i, University of California San Diego Autonomous Tiger Racing, Auburn University Black & Gold Autonomous Racing, Purdue University, United States Military Academy at West Point, with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (India), Universidad de San Buenaventura (Colombia) Cavalier Autonomous Racing, University of Virginia EuroRacing, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy), University of Pisa (Italy), ETH Zurich (Switzerland), Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland ) KAIST, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (South Korea) MIT-PITT-RW, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Waterloo (Canada) PoliMOVE, Politecnico di Milano (Italy), University of Alabama TUM Autonomous Motorsport, Technische Universität München (Germany)

The prize money will go to the teams’ respective university programs to fund research into autonomous technology. Everyone’s favorite robot dog, Spot from Boston Dynamics, will be the official flag waving of the event.