First Ever Autonomous Race to Take Place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Today

An auto race without any drivers may seem a bit pointless if you’re a die-hard fan. But if you’re a part of a team developing the most advanced autonomous vehicle technology the world’s ever seen, a race of that caliber must feel like the Indy 500 all over again.
Indy Autonomous Challenge 9 photos
Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
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That’s exactly what’s expected to take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, October 23rd, 2021. It’s the first time in the circuit’s century-plus long history that such a race will take place.

Dubbed the Indy Autonomous Challenge, a group of nine teams representing over 20 universities worldwide will compete around the legendary oval track. Four finalists will compete for the grand prize of $1 million courtesy of Indianapolis bases Lilly Endowments.

Some of the prestigious colleges taking part include Purdue University, Auburn University, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and international teams from Columbia and India, among others. Each team has the opportunity to equip their IAC and Dallara’s modified Indycar Lights chassis with proprietary AV technology developed in-house by their team. These cars, which the teams will use, are equipped with custom-sensor packages that electronically feed data in intervals to the computers guiding them.

Over 1,500 high school students excelling in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs will attend the famous American speedway. With the Indy 500 having taken place just five months earlier, it will be the second time in less than half a year that the speedway has hosted a groundbreaking race in front of roaring fans since public health crisis regulations were eased earlier in the year.

Live streaming will begin at 1 p.m. (ET) and can be viewed directly from the IAC website ( and on Twitch at @IndyAChallenge. Best of luck to all participants. Just, please, do us a favor and don’t replace next year’s Indy 500 with AVs, please.
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Editor's note: Some photos borrowed from previous race event.

press release

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