The Indy Autonomous Challenge, or IAC, said last week that it will return to racing at “The Indy Autonomous Challenge Powered by Cisco” at the Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, Nov. 11 in Fort Worth, Texas.
This comes after a record-setting competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last October, and making history at CES 2022 in January with the world’s first-ever, head-to-head autonomous racing competition.
The history of IAC
The IAC started as a $1 million prize competition with 41 university teams signing up to compete more than two years ago, representing top engineering and technology programs from 14 U.S. states and 11 countries.
Based in Indiana, the IAC said it is working to establish a hub for performance automation in the state and is harnessing the power of innovative competitions to attract the best and the brightest minds from around the globe to further the state-of-the-art technology in safety and performance of automated vehicles.
Presenting sponsor Cisco Systems, Inc. will enable critical in-vehicle and car-to-trackside connectivity with Dallara AV-21 racecars using ultra-low latency wireless technology for the head-to-head autonomous racecar competition. Nine IAC teams will seek to compete, according to IAC.
Collaborating with partners like Cisco, the IAC is working to increase safety and performance in not only motorsports, but across all modes of commercial transportation, it said.
“Our goal is to bring the brightest minds and top innovators of our time together at iconic racetracks around the world to push autonomous driving technology forward,” said Paul Mitchell, president, Indy Autonomous Challenge. “Through complex problem solving and first-of-its-kind engineering, our teams work with leading industry sponsors like Cisco to advance technology that will speed the commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles and deployments of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).”
New race cars offer 30% more horsepower
Teams competing at the “Indy Autonomous Challenge Powered by Cisco” at Texas Motor Speedway will be operating Dallara AV-21 autonomous racecars equipped with a boosted engine package. The vehicles are capable of delivering 30% more horsepower than the last time they raced to push high-speed multi-agent racing to its limits.
With its upgraded engine package, an IAC racecar programmed by team PoliMOVE from Politecnico di Milano (Italy) and the University of Alabama (USA) set a new land speed world record of 192.2 mph at the historic Kennedy Space Center in April. That prompted the adoption of refreshed technology on all IAC racecars moving forward.
More on Ciso’s technologies
Cisco powers the in-vehicle networking and connectivity to and from the vehicles for race safety, telemetry data offload, and GPS timing alignment. The connectivity infrastructure includes Cisco Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul for highly reliable mobile connectivity and Cisco Catalyst Industrial Ethernet switches to connect in-vehicle sensors and on-board compute.
The same Cisco technologies powering the IAC are used to connect and secure critical systems and improve operations across industries like manufacturing/industrial automation, roadways, and ports.
“Cisco is proud to be the presenting sponsor, for the second consecutive year of the Indy Autonomous Challenge and bring the IAC to the Texas Motor Speedway, empowering academic innovation to further autonomous development and improve safety and performance,” said Wes Sylvester, a vice president at Cisco Industry Solutions Group. “We are committed to driving the future of connectivity forward for every type of automated industry, and you couldn’t ask for a more ideal testing and proving ground to push the boundaries of innovation than the Indy Autonomous Challenge.”
Teams arrived at Texas Motor Speedway on Sept 28 for an initial week of practice and will then return for practice Oct. 24 through race day on Nov. 11 where the competition will be live broadcast via Twitch in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
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