Indy Autonomous Challenge Readies for Next Self-Driving Race at CES 2022

Energy Systems Network, the organizer of the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC), last week announced that the Technology Innovation Institute will serve as a premier sponsor of the Autonomous Challenge @ CES. It has also selected Halo powered by T-Mobile 5G as the official pace car. The IAC said it will make history at the Consumer Electronics Show with the first high-speed, head-to-head autonomous racecar competition at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022.

“The Indy Autonomous Challenge is working to advance tech that will speed the commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles and deployments of advanced driver-assistance systems,” said Paul Mitchell, president and CEO of Indianapolis-based Energy Systems Network (ESN). “We are proud to partner with these sponsors as they work with us to push limits for the entire autonomous community, helping to increase safety and performance in not only motorsports, but across all modes of commercial transportation.”

The IAC previously ran an event powered by Cisco at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October 2021. TUM Autonomous Motorsport from the Technical University of Munich, won the $1 million grand prize.

TII and Halo support self-driving car race

The Technology Innovation Institute (TII) joins sensor provider Luminar as a premier sponsor of the challenge. TII is the dedicated applied research pillar of the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), a global research and development center that focuses on building next-generation technologies and an innovation ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates.

“TII is delighted to join forces with CES 2022 and bring back exciting, in-person events,” Dr. Ray O. Johnson, CEO of TII, said today. “We are making history as a key participant in this emerging autonomous racing field following the significant results that we achieved at the Indy Autonomous Challenge in October.”

“Through fast-tracking innovation for future autonomous vehicles and robotic real-world applications, we hope to boost awareness for safety and sustainability in this challenging sport,” he added. “Since this is the first overtaking race in the field, we will look forward to bringing home the top honors on race day.”

TII is also providing its expertise in automation and robotics as partner in TII-EuroRacing, one of the teams competing in the Autonomous Challenge @ CES. That team includes autonomous experts from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy. It said its member have experience in designing, maintaining, and developing both software and hardware to operate autonomous racing vehicles of all specifications.

In October, TII-EuroRacing Team made it to the finals in a world record of 139 mph (223 kph) for the fastest average lap speed. TII's Autonomous Robotics Research Center (ARRC) said it will work for the next three years on the development of autonomous racecars, autonomous systems, and drones.

“We are gaining considerable insights through championing and participating in prestigious autonomous racing events such as the Autonomous Challenge @CES and previously in the Indy Autonomous Challenge,” stated Dr. Najwa Aaraj, chief researcher at TII's Cryptography Research Center and acting chief researcher at ARRC.

“The fluid, complex environment of the world’s fastest racetracks serves as the most advanced and extreme testbeds for robotics and autonomous vehicles,” she said. “They will help accelerate our rate of innovation as we develop and prototype some of the most advanced algorithms and systems for autonomous vehicle software.”

Halo, a remote-piloted driverless car service operating on T-Mobile's 5G network in Las Vegas, will serve as the official pace car. Halo and T-Mobile are also providing a ride-hailing service using 5G and driverless vehicles.

The competitors at CES will include nine teams from eight countries, representing 19 universities. Halo will lead each set of IAC teams off of pit lane and complete a warmup lap at speeds of 65 to 80 mph (104.6 to 128.7 kph) before the start of each round.