INDIANAPOLIS - Conceptual renderings of the race car that will be used for the inaugural running of the Indy Autonomous Challenge at IMS have been unveiled, giving race fans a first glimpse of the driverless machine.

Dallara, Energy Systems Network and Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research revealed images of the Dallara-built race car that will be used by university race teams during the competition, which was first announced in October.

The Indy Autonomous Challenge is a $1 million prize competition to create software that enables self-driving Indy Lights race cars to compete in a head-to-head, high-speed autonomous vehicle race at IMS.

“The Indy Autonomous Challenge provided our designers with a unique opportunity to envision how emerging automotive technologies can be efficiently packaged and tightly integrated into an otherwise conventional vehicle while maintaining the vehicle’s performance and integrity,” said Stefano dePonti, chief executive officer and general manager of Dallara USA.

The goal is to develop software that can help speed up the commercialization of highly autonomous vehicles and enhance existing advanced driver-assistance systems in people-driven cars.

ESN Chief Executive Officer Paul Mitchell and IMS President Doug Boles talked about the competition last month on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick:


Each college team will be challenged to develop software to run industry-standard computers and sensors to remotely operate the race car at speeds of 200 mph.

“The Indy Autonomous Challenge is that bold call to action that our team members have been hungry for,” said Carl Crane, leader of Gator Double Dragon, a collaborative team comprised of the University of Florida and Kookmin University of South Korea.

University teams will be involved in monthly virtual design reviews and other feedback channels throughout the competition. Teams will then get access to their own vehicles to program them. On-track practice days will begin in May 2021, culminating with the final race in October 2021 at IMS.

So far 13 universities, including two from South Korea, one from both Germany and Israel have signed up to compete. Registration closes in February.