Auburn racing burns up the track

Conference goers arriving at the Gaylord Texan Resort this week may have noticed a racecar among the various Ubers and hotel shuttles dropping off attendees in the front driveway. But this is no ordinary racecar. It’s a fully autonomous Indy Next car capable of traversing a racecourse at speeds up to 130 miles per hour.
April 27, 2023
Bryce Karlins and Stephanie Meyer of Auburn
Bryce Karlins and Stephanie Meyer of Auburn

The racecar belongs to the Autonomous Tiger Racing (ATR) team from Auburn University, the sole American entrant in the Indy Autonomous Challenge, a competition among universities around the world to develop and race autonomous racecars on a series of Indy Next racetracks. Led by team lead, Stephanie Meyer, the team is mostly made up of graduate and PhD students in mechanical engineering and software development.

The ATR’s car uses a combination of GPS, video cameras, Lidar and V2V and

V2X communication and networking to navigate around a racecourse, avoid obstacles and pass competing cars—all at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. The hardware is the same for every car in the competition, but teams are tasked with developing the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) engines that serve as the vehicles’ brains.

“The goal, really, is to develop autonomous technology for vehicles that are being tested to the limit,” said Bryce Karlins, a graduate student at Auburn and a member of ATR. “And from there, eventually apply them to real-world deployments.”

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