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MSU joins Indy Autonomous Challenge, partners with Milan team

Michigan State University (MSU) is entering into a two-year agreement with Politecnico di Milano in Italy, and the University of Alabama (which is collaborating with the PoliMOVE team) to participate in the Indy Autonomous Challenge.

MSU is the first and only team from Michigan to race in the IAC series, which officially launched in 2019 and brings together academic institutions and public-private partnerships to challenge university students from across the globe to invent and test a new generation of automated vehicle software—including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)—to operate fully autonomous race cars.

During the IAC, race cars operate autonomously at speeds near 200 mph. Since its inception, the challenge has grown from a single race to a series of international racing events. Politecnico di Milano joined the future of racing program under the team name PoliMOVE and has won four of the five IAC annual racing series.


PoliMOVE team and car

With the addition of MSU, the team will now race under the name PoliMOVE-MSU, with the next race slated for 30 June 2024, in Monza, Italy, and the presentation of the new AV-24 PoliMOVE-MSU car during CES 2024 in January.

Together, the PoliMOVE-MSU team will race with a Dallara-built AV-24—the official vehicle of the IAC—retrofitted with hardware and controls to enable automation, with artificial intelligence drivers programmed by team members.


The official vehicle of the Indy Autonomous Challenge is the Dallara-built AV-21 that has been retrofitted with hardware and controls to enable automation. The Dallara AV-21 chassis is a modified version of the Indy Lights chassis. The Dallara AV-21 is a collaboration between Dallara’s Italian headquarters in Varano Melegari (Parma) and Dallara IndyCar Factory in Speedway, Indiana.

The collaborative team will be led by Sergio Savaresi, professor of automated control at Politecnico di Milano, with support from Daniel Morris, associate professor in the departments of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at MSU, who will lead a technical team from MSU. Both universities will have student researchers contributing as well.

Sensor and software developments the team innovates through this challenge will lead to increased safety and performance in motorsports and commercial transportation, with a special focus on solving edge case scenarios—problems that occur only in extreme operating environments, such as avoiding obstacles at high speeds while maintaining vehicular control. Beyond accelerating the pace of autonomous, high-speed innovation, IAC works to attract and inspire the next generation of science, technology, engineering and math talent.


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