IEC: How the self-driving car race was at CES 2022
The Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC), a competition that aims to advance the technology necessary for the development of autonomous cars, concluded one of its main competitions last Friday (7). The race was held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, during CES 2022 .
The aim of the IAC is to substantially increase the technology needed to have fully autonomous vehicles, improving aspects such as safety and performance in motor sports on closed circuits. The advances achieved also apply to consumer cars on public roads .
how was the competition
The self-driving cars that participated in the IAC use a modified Indy Lights chassis, an entry-level category for the IndyCar Series, the premier single-seater motorsport category in the United States. The chassis are built by Dallara, an Italian racing car manufacturer.
Normally, the cars would be operated by human drivers, however, in place of the drivers, the cars rely on tools such as lidar, radar, GPS and optical cameras. The equipment was installed identically in the cars, with the differentiation being made in the software and on-board computers .
The IAC was contested by nine teams, which were made up of universities with professionals from eight different countries. The Juncos Hollinger Racing team, which will compete in IndyCar, is responsible for assembling and maintaining the competition vehicles.
The software that drives each of the self-driving cars is designed to react to the environment on its own. Cars cannot be controlled remotely from the pits, the only action by programmers is setting a speed target, which is sent to the car.
During one of the IAC's time-taking sessions, each car took a flipped turn around the track. The first places reached no less than 170 km/h. The second session consisted of races with two cars, which had the function of trying to get in front of the other, at increasing speeds.
The sessions were the first carried out by autonomous vehicles on an approved racetrack, which is a very important milestone for this technology. And it can be said that it was a success, as, with the exception of a collision with the protective barrier, most of the competition went without a hitch.
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In the end, the winning team was PoliMove, made up of students from the University of Alabama, in the United States, and the Polytechnic of Milan, in Italy . The two shared a prize of US$ 150 thousand (about R$ 845 thousand, at the current price).
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