Home Bots & Brains Indy Autonomous Challenge scheduled for October 23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indy Autonomous Challenge scheduled for October 23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

by Marco van der Hoeven

The Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC), the world’s first autonomous racecar competition at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), has announced the IAC events currently scheduled for October 23, 2021, at IMS. Activities include the Autonomous Innovation Summit (invitation-only), bringing together global thought leaders and experts from industry, academia and government to discuss the status of the autonomous technology industry and explore ways to accelerate and amplify the benefits of an autonomous mobility future.

The summit will include leaders from Cisco, Bridgestone, Microsoft, Aptiv, Luminar, Dallara USA, ADLINK, AutonomouStuff/Hexagon, Schaeffler, Valvoline, Raytheon, Trucks VC, Draper, Elevate Ventures and many others.

In addition, a showcase of advanced technologies from competing university teams and IAC industry sponsors will be held on the IMS grounds. These activities will be in addition to the IAC university team racecar competition, featuring the Dallara AV-21 autonomous racecars. High school students from Indiana and beyond, interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are invited to attend the events. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Department of Education and the STARTedUP Foundation are leading the effort to coordinate high school student attendance.


“This is an historic and exciting day for Indiana, which has taken the lead in hosting this first-of-its kind technology demonstration for the best and brightest of university students from around the world,” said Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. “Through our work with the IAC, we also want to inspire the next generation of innovators and technologists.”

Paul Mitchell, president and CEO of Energy Systems Network (ESN), one of the primary organizers of the IAC, announced the official list of university teams participating in the IAC at IMS and stated: “The Indy Autonomous Challenge began with more than 500 students registered from 41 universities. Today, we have 21 universities from 9 countries that have formed 10 teams that will participate in the final stage of the prize competition currently scheduled for October 23. These teams have overcome tremendous technology challenges to operate fully autonomous racecars and have done so despite the COVID-19 global pandemic challenges and inability to gather together as teams for most of the competition. We applaud them all and celebrate their collective achievements.”

University Teams Competing in the Indy Autonomous Challenge 

There are 10 teams comprised of 21 universities competing in the Indy Autonomous Challenge:

  • 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
  • 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)
  • IUPUI-IITKGP-USB – Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (India), Universidad de San Buenaventura (Colombia)
  • 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)

Autonomous Innovation Summit

The Autonomous Innovation Summit, hosted by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, will include sessions on R&D and talent development, the status of autonomous industry commercialization and investment, and the exploration of ways to accelerate and amplify the benefits of an autonomous mobility future. The invitation-only summit will be filmed and available on the IAC website for public viewing.

Future Innovators Activation

One of the primary goals of the IAC is to advance technologies for autonomous vehicles through STEM challenges that will lead to increased safety and performance in all modes of racing and commercial transportation. As such, the State of Indiana is inviting high school students across the state to IMS for the IAC activities. The activation, led by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the Indiana Department of Education, and the STARTedUP Foundation, will expose students to learnings and future opportunities in the R&D and commercialization of autonomous technologies. Students will have the opportunity to engage with industry leaders at the Technology Showcase demonstration area, network with teams and university representatives, and connect directly with university recruiters. The Indiana Department of Education will share more information with students, parents and educators this week.

Showcase of Advanced Technologies

A Showcase of Advanced Technologies will provide IAC university teams and industry sponsors the ability to demonstrate their technologies that have been at the center of the IAC. The IAC sponsors are: Cisco, ADLINK, Ansys, Aptiv, AutonomouStuff/Hexagon, Bridgestone, Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), Luminar, Microsoft, New Eagle, PWR, RTI, Schaeffler and Valvoline. In addition is support from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Juncos Hollinger Racing, and Dallara USA.

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