Autonomous Kart Racing Returns to IMS

Posted: Updated:
The races will feature both manned and autonomous karts. (photo courtesy of Purdue Motorsports) The races will feature both manned and autonomous karts. (photo courtesy of Purdue Motorsports)

Purdue University Motorsports will Tuesday begin the annual evGrand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The two-day event will feature high school and college teams competing in their electric karts, as well as autonomous karts, as part of the Student Karting World Finals.

This is the second year for autonomous kart racing at the event. E.J. Williams, an EV expert and part of the support staff for the evGrand Prix, says autonomous technology changes everything when it comes to electric vehicle racing. 

"You're no longer engineering a powertrain; you're engineering an actual driver," said Williams. "The sensors, computer and software that teams must develop take the role of the driver, which means you have to get it right in order to even navigate the track. Without the right sensors and experienced algorithms to interpret the data and control of the kart, it would be like sticking a driver in a race car and blindfolding him. You have to give your kart the ability to ‘see’ and you have to give it experience."

The college division will compete in a manned kart race beginning at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday. The college autonomous division will race at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, followed by the high school division and its manned race at 4:00 p.m. 

The colleges taking part in the event include:

  • Purdue University (West Lafayette)
  • Purdue University Northwest
  • Anderson University
  • Kettering University
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Bowling Green University
  • Virginia Tech
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Northwest Missouri State University

The high schools and technical career training centers involved in this year's event include:

  • Ben Davis High School (Indianapolis)
  • Carroll High School (Fort Wayne)
  • Castle High School (Newburgh)
  • Clarksville High School
  • Clinton Central Junior-Senior High School (Michigantown)
  • Clinton Prairie Junior-Senior High School (Fortville)
  • Decatur Central High School (Indianapolis)
  • Greenwood High School
  • Heritage Christian School (Indianapolis)
  • Hobart High School
  • Fort Wayne Homestead High School
  • Indiana Math and Science Academy of Indianapolis
  • Jennings County High School (North Vernon)
  • Lafayette Jefferson High School
  • Lowell High School
  • New Castle Career Center
  • North Lawrence Career Center (Indianapolis)
  • Paoli Junior-Senior High School 
  • Rensselaer Central High School
  • Rochester Community High School
  • Speedway High School
  • Plano Senior High School (Texas)
  • Hughes STEM High School (Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Main CTE (Park Ridge, Illinois)

"The objectives of this Purdue-hosted series are simple – train students for the technologies of their future, change the public’s perceptions and fears of  autonomous transportation, reduce automobile deaths and serious injuries as well as reduce emissions, and make significant improvements in efficiencies in public and private transportation," said Danny White, manager of Purdue Motorsports.

The races are part of the daily date admission at IMS. 

  • Perspectives

    • Baby Boomers Are Impacting the Building Industry

      There are currently 78 million baby boomers in the U.S., making up 25% of the population and controlling 67% ($28 trillion) of the country’s wealth, according to the Living In Place Institute. AARP says 90% of people surveyed want to remain as long as possible in their homes. The majority of those 65 and older remodel their home to make it safer and accessible. In fact, 45% of all remodeling work is being done for people over the age of 65. With this amount of data supporting...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Hub & Spoke Aims to Fuel 'Purpose and Passion'

      The co-founder of a $16 million mixed-use development in Fishers says the project aims to have the biggest social impact possible. Officials broke ground Tuesday on Hub & Spoke, which will include a design center, coworking space and makerspace when completed. David Decker says the project is the first of its kind in the nation and seeks to help people find their purpose and passion and tie that into their vocation. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter...

    • (Photo Courtesy: Roche Diagnostics)

      Roche VP on List of Influential Women Executives

      An executive with Roche Diagnostics has joined an exclusive list of prominent and influential women, including Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams.  Cindy Carlisle, Vice President of Human Resources at Roche Indy, was named to Savoy Magazine’s 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America. 

    • The facility could be build within the River Ridge Commerce Center.

      Jeffersonville Being Considered for CBD Plant

      California-based Layn USA could soon establish operations in southern Indiana. One Southern Indiana, the economic development organization and chamber of commerce for Clark and Floyd counties, says the company has signed a purchase and sales agreement with the River Ridge Development Authority for a proposed $52 million CBD manufacturing facility. The project, the company says, would have the capacity to process a minimum of 5,000 tons of hemp biomass each year. As part of the...

    • Rendering courtesy of Two EEs Winery

      Two-EE's Winery to Adopt New Age Policy

      Two-EE's Winery in Huntington has announced it will adopt a new age policy begining in August. Our partners at WPTA-TV report the winery will no longer allow people aged under 21 to visit the establishment due to ongoing problems with unsupervised or misbehaving children. 

    • New Mixed-Use Development Planned for Fishers

      A new mixed-use development is coming to Fishers. Thompson Thrift Retail Group has announced the development of The Station, an office building that is part of an overall project that includes a 150-room hotel, a future retail pad along 116th Street and nearly 40 3-story townhomes.