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PoliMOVE Wins Autonomous Challenge 2023

Teams sets new autonomous speed world record for a racetrack

by Marco van der Hoeven

The Indy Autonomous Challenge team PoliMOVE from Politecnico di Milano (Italy), and the University of Alabama (Alabama) won the second annual Autonomous Challenge at  CES reaching max speeds of 180 mph, a new autonomous speed world record for a racetrack.

PoliMOVE competed at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway against a field of nine teams from 17 universities spanning six countries all seeking to break autonomous racing records. TUM Autonomous Motorsport from Technische Universität München (Germany) took second place in the heated battle.

The Rules of the IAC Competition consist of a single elimination tournament with multiple rounds of head-to-head passing matches culminating in a championship round. The world’s fastest autonomous racecars, Dallara AV-21s, took turns playing the role of Leader (Defender) and Passer/Follower (Attacker) in front of a global crowd of CES attendees. Passes were attempted at ever increasing speeds until one or both cars were unable to successfully complete a pass.

The rules of the IAC competition required each team to qualify in a high-speed autonomous racecar time trial competition determining their seed in the head-to-head passing competition. Six of the nine teams seeking to compete went head-to-head.

“Exactly 365 days later, we were so proud and excited to be back in Las Vegas for the Autonomous Challenge @ CES,” said Prof. Sergio Savaresi, team lead of Politecnio di Milano. “Today was a major step forward in speed, in complexity of the race, and in overcoming challenging head-to-head situations. We are very glad for this success, for the contribution of the Indy Autonomous Challenge, and for all the teams in advancing the technology of A.I. drivers.”

The IAC is working to accelerate the pace of innovation for high-speed automation, with a goal to attract the best and brightest minds in the workforce, serving as a platform for students to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and inspire the next generation of innovators. Collaborating with Premier Sponsors ASPIRE, Cisco, and Luminar, the IAC aims to increase safety and performance in not only motorsports, but across all modes of commercial transportation.

“We came to the world’s most influential innovation event this week, CES, to showcase to the entire technology ecosystem how this program and this competition is catapulting autonomous technologies forward,” said Paul Mitchell, president, IAC. “We’re harnessing the power of head-to-head competition to push and test the limits of autonomous driving to further the state-of-the art technology in safety and performance of automated vehicles, and today we snagged yet another world record.”

The call to action for this competition has been remarkable, with 31 university teams initially signing up to compete more than two years ago, representing top engineering and technology programs from 15 U.S. states and 10 countries. The IAC first made history on October 23, 2021, when it held the Indy Autonomous Challenge Powered by Cisco, the first high-speed autonomous racecar competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).

Nine teams from 6 countries, representing 17 universities came to Las Vegas this week seeking to compete in the Autonomous Challenge @ CES.

  • AI Racing Tech – University of Hawai’i (Hawai’i), University of California San Diego (California), Carnegie Mellon University, and University of California, Berkeley
  • Autonomous Tiger Racing (ATR)* – Auburn University (Alabama)
  • Black & Gold Racing* – Purdue University (Indiana)
  • Cavalier Autonomous Racing (CAR)* – University of Virginia (Virginia)
  • KAIST– Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (South Korea)
  • MIT-PITT-RW – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts), University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), Rochester Institute of Technology (New York), University of Waterloo (Canada)
  • PoliMOVE – Politecnico di Milano (Italy), University of Alabama (Alabama)
  • TII EuroRacing – University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy), Technology Innovation Institute (United Arab Emirates)
  • TUM Autonomous Motorsport – Technische Universität München (Germany)

*Did not advance to the final competition.

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