After two years of development (and one pandemic), nine teams comprising students from 21 universities gathered at the speedway on October 23 to put their autonomous race cars to the test.
The initial plan of a head-to-head race was scrapped in favor of a two-round fastest lap competition, during which the driverless cars needed to demonstrate an ability to avoid inflatable barriers and exit the pitlane.
With a two-lap average speed of 135.944 mph in the final round, a group from Technical University of Munich (TUM) walked away with the $1 million prize.
“We’re totally thrilled by the results,” team manager Alexander Wischnewski said. “Our objective was to break 200 kmh [~124 mph], and we did exactly that.”
Growing pains: The challenge included its fair share of drama, with 4 of its 11 runs including significant crashes.