Indy Autonomous Challenge – Autonomous Race Cars at the Handling Limits

by   Alexander Wischnewski, et al.

Motorsport has always been an enabler for technological advancement, and the same applies to the autonomous driving industry. The team TUM Auton-omous Motorsports will participate in the Indy Autonomous Challenge in Octo-ber 2021 to benchmark its self-driving software-stack by racing one out of ten autonomous Dallara AV-21 racecars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The first part of this paper explains the reasons for entering an autonomous vehicle race from an academic perspective: It allows focusing on several edge cases en-countered by autonomous vehicles, such as challenging evasion maneuvers and unstructured scenarios. At the same time, it is inherently safe due to the motor-sport related track safety precautions. It is therefore an ideal testing ground for the development of autonomous driving algorithms capable of mastering the most challenging and rare situations. In addition, we provide insight into our soft-ware development workflow and present our Hardware-in-the-Loop simulation setup. It is capable of running simulations of up to eight autonomous vehicles in real time. The second part of the paper gives a high-level overview of the soft-ware architecture and covers our development priorities in building a high-per-formance autonomous racing software: maximum sensor detection range, relia-ble handling of multi-vehicle situations, as well as reliable motion control under uncertainty.


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