How Indy Autonomous Racing Got Real at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

“Ladies and gentlemen, start your software.” And with those history-making words, uttered by Karen Chupka, EVP of CES, Consumer Technology Association, the world’s first ever race for autonomous race cars got booted up at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Officially this was the second round of the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) but as it turned out the first “race” held last October at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was only time trials where nine autonomous race cars drove one-at-a-time around the famous oval.

This time the organizers created a head-to-head elimination race with two cars on the track at a time—somewhat similar to how drag races are conducted…

A jubilant Prof. Sergio M. Savaresi, founder of the winning team from Politecnico di Milano in Italy, said “We’re Italians—racing is in our blood” What’s the betting some of these students end up working for Ferrari’s F1 team? Several students and faculty from the University of Alabama also assisted the Italians.