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the Indy Autonomous Challenge sponsored by cisco

by terry daniels

just  imagine the indianapolis 500  with no drivers in the cars

that mat be the future and october 23rd 2021  may have been that beginning

the Indy Autonomous Challenge is a  autonomous car race that will showcase technology and innovation at the famed indianapolis motor speedway

so what is a autonomous race car ? here is the definition i was able to find on the internet

Autonomous or self-driving racingcar , autonomous motorsports is an evolving sport of racing ground-based wheeled vehicles, controlled by computer, and Self Racing Cars as well as student competitions such as Formula Student Driverless.

indy car chassis manufacturer Dallara made the AV-21 chassis for several colleges including purdue university, auburn university and kaist university from south korea  each race car has over a mile and a half of wiring with bridgestone tires and are priced at over one million  there is a $1 million dollar prize for the university that takes the checkered flag.

when al unser won the 1970 indianapolis 500 he shared in the first $1 million purse

1989 Race winner Emerson Fittipaldi was the first Indy 500 winner to earn a one million dollar single-race prize money purse. His prize money officially totaled $1,001,600.

the race was sponsored by Cisco Systems which is  an American multinational technology conglomerate corporation headquartered in San Jose, California. Integral to the growth of Silicon Valley, Cisco develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, software, telecommunications equipment and other high-technology services and products. Through its numerous acquired subsidiaries, such as OpenDNS, Webex, Jabber and Jasper, Cisco specializes in specific tech markets, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), domain security and energy management. On January 25, 2021, Cisco reincorporated in Delaware.

they say the Autonomous race cars are more precise than a driver's instinct. the software can capture stuff about friction with the track. and  can tell exactly  how  the engine is performing.


The advantage of the Autonomous race car is they can determine exactly. We don't have to have a 'sense of it', which is what drivers do,"

well how fast will they go the fastest lap ran during qualifying was over 135 mph with straightaway speeds at over 150mph

after contests and stimulation racing the field was narrowed down to nine teams representing twenty one universities from all over the world

here are the nine finalists

  • AI Racing Tech – University of Hawaii, 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 (IUPUI), 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)

Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb officially started the competition with the call “Ladies and gentlemen start your software and crank your engines." and a robot dog named spot waved the green flag to start qualifying

qualifying began with PoliMOVE a team consisting of Politecnico di Milano (Italy) and the  University of Alabama and their two lap average was 124.450 which gave them the provisional pole

 TUM Autonomous Motorsport representing  Technische Universität München from Munich Germany raised the bar by 5 miles and hour averaging 129.237 for their two lap run

third out was local favorite the Black & Gold Autonomous Racing which consisted of  Purdue University, United States Military Academy at West Point and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) however they had to move the back of the line because of technical difficulties however finally withdrew the entry from a possible qualyfing run later in the day

South Korea's KAIST which stands for  Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology was the next out the  team consists of only four students and they averaged 84.355 for the two laps and was very disappointed on the run

University of Virginia's Cavalier Autonomous Racing ran thier first lap of 119.883 however technical issues eliminated them from completing the second lap of their qualifying

AI Racing Tech representing the  University of Hawaii and the University of California San Diego spun entering turn one and ended up on the road course the car did not look damaged however they did not make another attempt

pre race favorite EuroRacing which represented the  University of Modena  Reggio Emilia (Italy), the University of Pisa (Italy), ETH Zürich (Switzerland), Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland) set the fast time at 131.176 and a two lap average of 131.148 to take the top spot away from tum Autonomous Motorsport by over 2 miles an hour

MIT-PITT-RW representing the  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Waterloo (Canada) hit the wall exiting turn four on the warmup lap severely damaging their race car

Auburn University's Autonomous Tiger Racing was the last scheduled qualifier  however withdrew their entry because of technical difficulties

which set the shootout for the 1 million dollars between PoliMOVE,TUM Autonomous Motorsport and EuroRacing. the shootout  consisted of 4 warmup laps and 2 qualifying laps

polymove was the first team out in the shootout however the car brushed up against the outer wall of the front straightaway then hit the outside wall of turn one leaving severe damage to the car and eliminating their chance of the one million dollars

TUM Autonomous Motorsport which is the largest team participating with a 45 person crew was the next team out and bettered their earlier time with a two lap average of 135.944

the third and final team in the shootout was euroracing and they had a time to beat of 135.944 their race car to have the most consented run as  loosing very little speed in the turns and turned in the fastest lap of the day at 139.004 and looked like the winner however on lap 2 of their qualifying run backed off very much and ran a lap at below 100 mph giving the win to TUM Autonomous Motorsport

eurosport explained they had made a simple mistake thinking the run was over the simple mistake cost eurosport 1 million dollars


TUM Autonomous Motorsport Wins the Indy Autonomous Challenge and the $1 Million Grand Prize






all pictures courtesy of indyautonomouschallenge.com

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