(Image Via Indy Autonomous Challenge)

Dallara releases autonomous race car concepts for Indy Autonomous Challenge competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Top global universities are registering to compete for the $1 million prize

INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 11, 2019) – Dallara, Energy Systems Network (ESN) and Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), today unveiled conceptual renderings of the autonomous Dallara-built race car that will be used by university race teams in the Indy Autonomous Challenge at IMS throughout 2021.

The Indy Autonomous Challenge is a $1 million prize competition among universities to create software that enables self-driving Indy Lights race cars to compete in a head-to-head, high-speed autonomous vehicle race at IMS. The development of such software can help speed the commercialization of highly autonomous vehicles and enhance existing advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in people-driven cars. These technologies help drivers remain in control and avoid accidents by prompting awareness and improving accuracy.

Dallara designed the concepts for the autonomous version of its 210 mph IL-15 race car at its world headquarters in Parma, Italy.  For the Indy Autonomous Challenge, Dallara worked closely with ESN and CU-ICAR to develop projections as to how autonomous vehicle technologies might be integrated into the vehicle to inform the final competition vehicle design.

“The Indy Autonomous Challenge provided our designers with a unique opportunity to envision how emerging automotive technologies can be efficiently packaged and tightly integrated into an otherwise conventional vehicle while maintaining the vehicle’s performance and integrity,” said Stefano dePonti, CEO and general manager of Dallara USA. “With our renderings, university teams can better envision what it will be like to work hands-on with what will be a world-class performance automobile.”

(Image Via Indy Autonomous Challenge)

Through Clemson University’s long-running vehicle prototype program Deep Orange, Clemson graduate automotive engineering students will lead a collaborative process that includes all Indy Autonomous Challenge registered teams to engineer the autonomous-capable version Dallara race car by equipping it with industry standard computers and sensors. Participating teams will be directly involved in the converted vehicle’s design and specifications through monthly virtual design reviews (VDRs) and other feedback channels throughout the competition. Once complete, teams will access their own vehicles and program them using team-developed software during track practice days that begin in May 2021 and for the final race, which takes place on October 23, 2021 at IMS.


The Indy Autonomous Challenge is also announcing that 13 top global universities are among an initial number of schools that have already registered to compete. Registration is open through the end of February 2020.

“Universities recognize that there’s value not only in chasing the Indy Autonomous Challenge’s $1 million top prize, but also in the Challenge’s ample supporting components,” said Matt Peak, director of mobility at ESN.  “In the first year alone, teams will be resourced with multiple industry-leading simulation software licenses by our Simulation Sponsor ANSYS, expert-led workshops and hackathons to help them advance their abilities to program and race their cars at high speeds.”


  • Ariel University (Israel)

  • University of Florida

  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Kookmin University (South Korea)

  • University of Michigan – Dearborn

  • Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology – KAIST (South Korea)

  • United States Military Academy (West Point)

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • University of Virginia

  • Technical University of Munich (Germany)

  • University of Waterloo (Canada)

  • Texas A&M

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“The Indy Autonomous Challenge is that bold call to action that our team members have been hungry for,” said Carl Crane, leader of Gator Double Dragon, a collaborative team comprised of the University of Florida and Kookmin University of South Korea.  “We see participation as our opportunity not just to excite our students and push the envelope on autonomous vehicle technologies, but also to ensure that University of Florida and Kookmin University graduates play a leading role in shaping and advancing this promising emerging industry.”

Registration is open for accredited, tax-exempt colleges and universities (including foreign institutions of higher education) through Feb. 28, 2020. For more information about the Indy Autonomous Challenge and to register for the competition, visit www.indyautonomouschallenge.com.