The World of Self-Driving Racecars

Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Indy Autonomous Challenge

What looks a lot like Indycars or Formula 1 cars is in fact something completely different. The Indy Autonomous Challenge is a competition to program autonomous modified racecars.

Recently the team, PoliMOVE broke the world record for the fastest autonomous racecar on a strip at Kennedy Space Center. The upgraded car called the “Dallara AV-21” features 30% more horsepower than the previous model and was able to reach the record breaking speed of 192.2 MPH / 309.3 KM/H.

IAC cars
IAC cars

Could it be interesting to watch race with only self-driving cars? Quite possibly, but it’s not likely to replace traditional motorsports anytime soon.

However, there is a very good reason why the IAC is pushing university teams to build the fastest self driving racecars.

Because in motorsports precision is key. You need to be able to make split second decisions and factor in a bunch of variables in those decisions to be a racecar driver. And so naturally the same goes for autonomous racecars. The data gathered from these experiments will help further develop self-driving personal vehicles.

“The primary goal of the IAC is to solve real world problems by advancing technology that will speed the commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles and deployments of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). Pushing limits for the entire autonomous community and helping to increase safety and performance is of critical importance, not only in motorsports, but across all modes of commercial transportation.” – Indy Autonomous Challenge

And just to make the whole thing even cooler they have Boston Dynamics Spot robot waving the checkered flag at the finish line.

IAC spot waving flag
IAC spot waving flag