Autonomous Indy Cars Run with Central Computers from dSPACE in Wixom

One of the world’s top providers of simulation and validation solutions, Wixom’s dSPACE has announced it is the exclusive supplier of on-vehicle computer technology for the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC).
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Indy Autonomous Challenge race car with a dSPACE Autera AutoBox. // Courtesy of dSPACE
Indy Autonomous Challenge race car with a dSPACE Autera AutoBox. // Courtesy of dSPACE

One of the world’s top providers of simulation and validation solutions, Wixom’s dSPACE has announced it is the exclusive supplier of on-vehicle computer technology for the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC).

The IAC organizes racing competitions among university-affiliated teams from around the world to program fully autonomous race cars and compete in a series of events at iconic tracks. dSPACE is providing the Autera AutoBox in-vehicle prototyping and data recording system that acts as the central computer in all vehicles, enabling fully autonomous operation of the cars on the racetrack.

The goal of the IAC is to bring together universities and technology thought leaders in the field of autonomous driving to support the next generation of engineers who will develop innovative solutions for autonomous vehicles that can handle edge-case scenarios in tough, real-world environments.

With the Autera AutoBox, dSPACE provides the high-performance central computer that reads and processes sensor data from lidar, radar, and cameras, as well as from automotive buses and networks. The main feature of the Autera hardware is its combination of high computation power and a best-in-class data bandwidth (50 Gbit/s) in a compact form factor.

“dSPACE is proud to provide the brain of the IAC race cars with Autera and looks forward to seeing how the solution proves itself in the very demanding racing environment,” says Peter Waeltermann, president of dSPACE Inc. “At the same time, it is exciting to experience how the student teams perform in this unique development lab in digital engineering, everyday testing, and in the races.”

A competition took place Nov. 11 at the Texas Motor Speedway, which was won by a joint team from Milan, Italy, and the University of Alabama. The next event will be Jan. 7 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as part of CES 2023.

“A partner like dSPACE, with its extensive experience in the development of autonomous vehicles, is a tremendous asset for the IAC,” says Paul Mitchell, president of the IAC. “The dSPACE technology is a critical piece to the puzzle that allows our university teams to test the limits of high-speed autonomous driving.”

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