INDIANAPOLIS (December 15, 2020) – Energy Systems Network (ESN) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), organizers of the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC), have announced they will hold a press conference on Media Day at CES 2021, to unveil the official racecar that will be autonomously driven by scores of university teams in the world’s first high-speed head-to-head autonomous race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. CES® is the most influential tech event in the world — the proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators.

The virtual press conference to unveil the Official Racecar of the Indy Autonomous Challenge will occur on January 11, 2021 at 2:00pm EST, followed by Q&A, as part of CES 2021 Media Day.

Participating in the unveiling will be:

  • Paul Mitchell, president and CEO, Energy Systems Network
  • Mark Miles, president and CEO, Penske Entertainment Corp.
  • Doug Boles, president, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • Stefano dePonti, CEO and general manager, Dallara USA
  • Sebastian Thrun, CEO, Kitty Hawk and chairman and founder, Udacity, winner of the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge

The IAC race is scheduled for October 23, 2021. A qualifying simulation race will be held during the Indy 500 week, in May 2021. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Racing Capital of the World, has been a catalyst and proving ground for motorsport and transportation innovation since its inception in 1909.

The IAC will also host two 30-minute live Spotlight Sessions on January 12 and 13, 2021. The first, “Commercialization of Autonomous Vehicles,” is hosted by Energy Systems Network. The second, “Innovative Technology in Motorsports” is hosted by IMS and presented by Bridgestone. Please check the CES 2021 calendar for exact times of these panels.

The IAC builds on the successful impact of the DARPA Grand Challenge, which led to expanded R&D in the field of autonomous vehicles. Twenty-eight teams, comprising more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students, PhDs and mentors who excel in AI software, are registered to compete, representing 11 countries on four continents.

About the Indy Autonomous Challenge

The Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC), organized by Energy Systems Network (ESN) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), is a $1.5 million prize competition among universities to program modified Dallara IL-15 racecars and compete in the world’s first autonomous head-to-head race around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 23, 2021. Racing at speeds of up to 200 mph, the primary goal of the Challenge is to advance technology that can speed the commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles and deployments of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). These enhancements will lead to increased safety and performance in all modes of racing and commercial transportation. In addition, the competition is a platform for students to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

IAC sponsors include: ADLINK, Ansys, Aptiv, AutonomouStuff, Bridgestone, CU-ICAR, Dallara, Indiana Economic Development Corp., Microsoft, New Eagle, PWR, RTI, Schaeffler, Valvoline.

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