AI Takes the Wheel at the Indy Autonomous Challenge


Watch this: Under the Hood at Indy Autonomous Challenge

I attended a race earlier this year where the winning car went 180 mph with nobody behind the wheel. That’s because everything was in the hands of artificial intelligence.

At the Indy Autonomous Challenge, teams from around the world crafted their very own AI driving systems and raced them head to head for the chance to win a $1 million cash prize. The event was held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway shortly after CES in January.

Big name brands from the automotive and computing world donated hardware to ensure every team was using the same basic vehicle and computing stack so that it really all came down to the AI. 

We spoke to representatives from various teams to learn about the challenges of building AI drivers to operate at such high speeds, what to do when you have a crash shortly before race day, and what gives their AI an edge over the competition.

In the end, only one team could take home the prize. In doing so, it set a world record for fastest autonomous driving on a racetrack.

In June, the challenge will head to Italy where it will have its first event at the Monza F1 Racing Circuit. There, the AI drivers will be contending with a track that features twists and turns more akin to what drivers face in the real world.

To see these autonomous racers in action and meet the people making it all happen, check out the video above.

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