The Indy Autonomous Challenge is bringing driverless racecars back to the track in November. The IAC announced Thursday it will host a head-to-head autonomous racecar event at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
The Indy Autonomous Challenge Powered by Cisco will feature nine IAC teams running their Dallara AV-21 racecars on the 1.5-mile oval that annually features races from the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and NASCAR.
The inaugural Indy Autonomous Challenge was held last October at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was won by TUM Autonomous Motorsport from the Technische Universität München in Germany.
“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,” IAC President Paul Mitchell said in written remarks. “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.”
The IAC says Cisco will provide in-vehicle and car-to-trackside connectivity for the teams and their racecars. The cars will also have a boosted engine package, which will be capable of delivering 30% more horsepower than previous races.
The package was introduced in April as 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.
The participating teams are currently in Fort Worth for an initial week of practice at Texas Motor Speedway. They will return for practice on Oct. 24 through race day on Nov. 11.
The inaugural Indy Autonomous Challenge competition was a timed event. The first head-to-head race took place in January at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as part of the CES convention. Team PoliMOVE took the checkered flag in that race.
Also at CES, TUM Autonomous Motorsport announced the launch of a new startup, driveblocks, which aims to develop a platform for fully autonomous vehicle applications.
The IAC will be returning to CES for another race in January.