Driverless Cars Will Race at Indy

“Drivers, start your engines.”

That is the famous call that begins one of racing’s iconic competitions, the annual Indy 500 held over Memorial Day weekend.

On October 23, that familiar call will again ring out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but there will be no drivers to hear it. There will be no drivers at all at the track that day.

Instead, around 10 driverless cars will race 20 laps—around 50 miles—at speeds up to 200 mph as they compete for $1.5 million in prize money.

The Indy Autonomous Challenge is a head-to-head, high-speed race of driverless cars, programmed by some of the world’s most prestigious universities, said Matt Peak, managing director at Energy Systems Network, of Indianapolis. He’s also lead organizer for the Indy Autonomous Challenge.

ESN, a nonprofit that brings energy solutions to market, partnered with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the challenge.