Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts first-ever driverless car race
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway helped autonomous vehicle researchers reach a new milestone over the weekend by hosting its inaugural driverless car race.
Driving the news: Nine teams from 21 universities competed to win the $1 million grand prize — with Technical University of Munich (TUM) recording the fastest two-lap average speed of 135.944 mph on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oval, per an Indy Autonomous Challenge statement.
- "The Rules of the IAC competition required each team to compete in a fastest lap competition that included an obstacle avoidance component," the statement notes.
What they're saying: Dallara USA CEO Stefano dePonti told AFP he believed he'd witnessed "a part of history."
- "Nobody knew that these [self-driving cars] could go so fast in competition," he said.
Our thought bubble, via Axios' Joann Muller: By not racing side-by-side on the track, the cars didn't have to make split-second decisions based on the behavior of other vehicles around it, the way humans do every day. So in the end, the autonomous challenge merely proved that driverless cars can go really fast.
In photos: Indy Autonomous Challenge
Go deeper: A conversation on our autonomous future