The Indy Autonomous Challenge recently took place, making students from all over compete over creating and racing an autonomous vehicle for the top prize of $1 million US.
Indeed, the challenge was to develop and advance autonomous vehicle technology. The University of Waterloo students, Brian Mao and Ben Zhang, pushed the limits and made a vehicle that can go much faster than any regular car. In order to do so, they replaced the driver’s seat with a computer system made up of different sensors, radars, and cameras to allow the vehicle to drive by itself. The car was able to reach top speeds of 200 km/h.
The two students partnered with other students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Moreover, the diversity within the team background – from engineering to mathematics – helped to set them apart and develop the autonomous vehicle.
However, their vehicles crashed into a wall and finished 7th due to a GPS issue. The winners were from the Technical University of Munich and managed to reach an average speed of 219 km/h.