Final teams announced for the Indy Autonomous Challenge

The Robot Report
INDY Autonomous Challenge race car platform on the Indianapolis Speedway

The INDY Autonomous Challenge unveiled the actual autonomous race car during the recent Indianapolis 500 race weekend. | Image credit: INDY Autonomous Challenge

University Teams Competing in the Indy Autonomous Challenge

For the last 18 months, 29 university teams have competed in a unique autonomous vehicle event. The Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) is a $1.5 million prize competition among universities to program Dallara AV-21 racecars and compete in the world’s first autonomous racecar event at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway currently scheduled for October 23, 2021. Each racecar cost about $1M to build and are built on the same race platform as the Indy Lights (manned) racecar, with the exception of the engine. The Dallara AV-21 uses a lower horsepower, four cylinder engine that is less-exotic and simpler for college mechanics to wrench on. All of the racecars are identical in design and build.

The 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). These enhancements will lead to increased safety and performance in all modes of racing and commercial transportation. In addition, the competition is a platform for students to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

With six weeks to go until the final race event, the competition has reached the last stage. There are only ten Dallara AV-21 racecars available to race. Thus the remain 21 university teams have been consolidated into ten race teams, each with their own vehicle. From this point forward, the teams will work to finalize their software and race strategies, while testing and qualifying the upcoming weeks.

Here are the 10 teams 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

Race day will also feature 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.

Current schedule of events for October 23, 2021

All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

  • 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Autonomous Innovation Summit (invitation-only)
  • 10:00 AM: Gates Open for Attendees
  • 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM: Technology Showcase/University Fan Zones
  • 1:30 – 4:30 PM: IAC Competition
  • 5:00 PM: Gates Close

The event is open to the public. To obtain information about the IAC events and register to attend, visit

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