Autonomous Tiger Racing currently Top 3 in Indy Autonomous Challenge

By Lee Anne Patterson

Published: Mar 26, 2021 12:00:00 AM

A Dallara Indy Lights car will be featured in the Indy Autonomous Challenge. A Dallara Indy Lights car will be featured in the Indy Autonomous Challenge.

Auburn, AL (March 26, 2021) – After three rounds of competition that have included white papers, performance of passenger vehicles and race simulations against other teams, Auburn University’s Autonomous Tiger Racing is currently top 3 in the standings of the Indy Autonomous Challenge

Designed to inspire the best and the brightest STEM talent from universities around the world, the Indy Autonomous Challenge will feature 30 teams racing a Dallara Indy Lights car in head-to-head competition for 20 laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s famed 2.5-mile oval at top speed. That could mean lap average speeds upwards to 200 mph.

The focus is on the software.  

The Indy Lights race cars will be specially equipped with LiDAR, GPS-INS, computer vision cameras, radar and other vehicle sensors. Teams must design a software stack that not only allows an Indy Lights car to travel at race pace but interpret influence of the draft and the movements of its competitors.  

With a history in innovation dating back to 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a perfect venue for the historic event.  

“There’s a fundamental connection between innovations on the racetrack and real-world improvements on the highway,” said Doug Boles, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). "With the launch of the Indy Autonomous Challenge, IMS continues to embrace its historic role as a catalyst for the next generation of vehicle technologies in motorsports competition and wider consumer platforms. And while drivers will always be at the heart of racing at IMS, we’re excited to be part of this groundbreaking and exciting initiative.”

Just as in IndyCar racing, the competition in the Indy Autonomous Challenge is fierce.  Many teams have already either been disqualified for not completing a task, or even for lack of funds.  Accordingly, several teams have merged; 18 currently remain in competition. Nine of the remaining teams are from the United States, while the remainder represent Austria, Canada, Germany, South Korea, India, Israel, Poland and Italy.

Auburn and Technische Universität München (Technical University of Munich – TUM) have recently announced a strategic partnership.  Though both teams will still compete independently, they will perform joint testing and data collection. TUM’s team will spend the summer in Auburn for development and testing. In exchange, TUM will be sharing a portion of their software stack. 

Qualified teams will receive their Dallara chassis May 30th during the weekend of the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500.  The first on-track tests will be held June 5th and 6th.  A second official test is scheduled at the Speedway for Sept. 4th – 6th. Final testing and qualification is scheduled for Oct. 19th – 22nd with the official race set for Oct. 23, 2021.

Media Contact: Lee Anne Patterson, jdh0123@auburn.edu, 334-844-3591

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