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

Nine teams comprising students from 21 universities are headed to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week to compete as finalists in the Indy Autonomous Challenge. The teams' autonomous open-wheel cars will compete for $1 million in prize money care of a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

The race track has long been a testbed for on-road vehicle technology, and autonomy is no exception. "[T]he primary goal of the IAC is to advance technology that can speed the commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles and deployments of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS)," the IAC says.

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 Zürich (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 help fund research into autonomous tech. Everybody's favorite definitely-not-a-sentient-murder-bot robotic dog, Spot from Boston Dynamics, will be the event's official flag-waver.

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