The public road is a dangerous place to push any technology or component to its limits. As such, the race track is a natural place to challenge performance envelopes.
Madhur Behl, associate professor of computer science at the University of Virginia, said:
He leads the school’s Cavalier Autonomous Racing team in the Indy Autonomous Challenge event.
Speed is still an important factor. In April, his PoliMOVE team, which won his IAC in Las Vegas last year, set a world record for the fastest autonomous ground operation.
A team of members from the Polytechnic Institute of Milan (Italy) and the University of Alabama reached 192.2 mph on the tarmac at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Speeds at the Las Vegas event may approach that depending on weather and track conditions.
Sometimes we reach our limits and fail. In 2022, Virginia his team’s vehicle crashed at 125 mph. Luckily, the critical electronics normally housed in the cockpit where the human driver sits were intact.
“Every race was a learning exercise,” Bale said. “You can see what is working well and what can be improved.”
These exercises will get trickier with the Indy Autonomous Challenge event in the months ahead. So far, races have been held at Indianapolis, Las Vegas and the Oval Course in Austin, Texas.
In 2023, the Indy Autonomous Challenge Race will be held at the road course, Mitchell said. He didn’t disclose the locations of those races, but said a two-year agreement was reached for the 2023 and 2024 races, details of which will be shared during CES.