Formula 1 self-propelled cars reached 115 mph during the first ever autonomous race in Las Vegas

The race car, with no one behind the wheel, spun around and grabbed the oval track at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Friday in its first-of-its-kind high-speed match between self-driving vehicles.

Members of the Italian-American PoliMOVE team cheered as their Formula 1 race car, nicknamed ‘Minerva’, repeatedly passed an opponent entered by the South Korean Kaist team.

Minerva drove nearly 115 miles per hour as she flew past the Kaist, easily exceeding the top speed hoped by the race organizers and winning the $ 150,000 Grand Prix.

However, the organizers considered every competitor to be the winner, who considered the fact that the self-driving algorithms could handle high-speed competition to be a real victory.

Autonomous racing car TII EuroRacing overtakes TUM Autonomous Motorsport during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7

Autonomous racing car TII EuroRacing overtakes TUM Autonomous Motorsport during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7

The race car, with no one behind the wheel, spun around and grabbed the oval track at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Friday in its first-of-its-kind high-speed match between self-driving vehicles.

The race car, with no one behind the wheel, spun around and grabbed the oval track at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Friday in its first-of-its-kind high-speed match between self-driving vehicles.

The TUM Autonomous Motorsport race car from the Technische Universitat Munchen (Germany) rides during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7.

The TUM Autonomous Motorsport race car from the Technische Universitat Munchen (Germany) rides during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7.

Participants watch the Indy Autonomous Challenge as a fighter jet flies overhead during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Participants watch the Indy Autonomous Challenge as a fighter jet flies overhead during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“It’s a success,” Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) co-organizer Paul Mitchell told AFP before waving the checkerboard flag.

The race pitted teams of students from around the world against each other to increase the capabilities of self-driving cars and improve technology for use anywhere.

In October, the IAC slowed down F1 self-driving races to provide more time to prepare the technology for the challenge, and instead decided to let them drive individually to see which time was the best.

“This is almost a world record for autonomous car speed,” said PoliMOVE engineer David Rigamonti as he looked lovingly at the black and black beauty.

The only seat usually reserved for drivers was full of electronics instead during this race.

Davide Rigamonti talks about the PoliMOVE autonomous race car from Politecnico di Milano (Italy) and the University of Alabama in the pits during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

Davide Rigamonti talks about the PoliMOVE autonomous race car from Politecnico di Milano (Italy) and the University of Alabama in the pits during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

A crew member looks at LiDAR cameras and sensors on the TUM Autonomous Motorsport race car from the Technical University of Munich (Germany) during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

A crew member looks at LiDAR cameras and sensors on the TUM Autonomous Motorsport race car from the Technical University of Munich (Germany) during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

Team TUM Autonomous Motorsport crew members move their team car in the box during the Indy Autonomous Challenge head-to-head, a high-speed autonomous race car competition organized by the Energy Systems Network.

Team TUM Autonomous Motorsport crew members move their team car in the box during the Indy Autonomous Challenge head-to-head, a high-speed autonomous race car competition organized by the Energy Systems Network.

KAIST, upper, and Team PoliMOVE, lower, compete in the Indy Autonomous Challenge head-to-head, a high-speed autonomous overtaking competition organized by the Energy Systems Network, the last day of CES 2022.

KAIST, upper, and Team PoliMOVE, lower, compete in the Indy Autonomous Challenge head-to-head, a high-speed autonomous overtaking competition organized by the Energy Systems Network, the last day of CES 2022.

PoliMOVE had a chance to win another race in October in Indianapolis, when, according to Rigamonti, he reached approximately 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour) before he skidded in a corner.

On Friday, it was a South Korean record that spun after overtaking a car built by a team from the University of Auburn in the South American state of Alabama.

“Students who program these cars are not mechanics; most of them knew nothing about racing, “said IndyCar specialist Lee Anne Patterson.

“We taught them about racing.”

Students program the software that drives the car by rapidly analyzing data from sophisticated sensors.

Phillip Karle (C) and Dr.  Markus Lienkamp (R) of TUM Autonomous Motorsport takes pictures with the team's autonomous race car ahead of the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

Phillip Karle (C) and Dr. Markus Lienkamp (R) of TUM Autonomous Motorsport takes pictures with the team’s autonomous race car ahead of the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

MIT-PITT-RW Autonomous Race Car, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Waterloo (Canada) enters the pits during the Indy Autonomous Challenge

MIT-PITT-RW Autonomous Race Car, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Waterloo (Canada) enters the pits during the Indy Autonomous Challenge

PoliMOVE autonomous race car from Politecnico di Milano (Italy) and the University of Alabama ride during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7

PoliMOVE autonomous race car from Politecnico di Milano (Italy) and the University of Alabama ride during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7

An autonomous race car rides during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada

An autonomous race car rides during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada

The KAIST car competes in the Indy Autonomous Challenge in the Indy Autonomous Challenge in the high-speed autonomous overtaking of racing cars organized by the Energy Systems Network on the last day of CES 2022 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The KAIST car competes in the Indy Autonomous Challenge in the Indy Autonomous Challenge in the high-speed autonomous overtaking of racing cars organized by the Energy Systems Network on the last day of CES 2022 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Paul Mitchell, race organizer and president of the Energy Systems Network, poses for a portrait during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7.

Paul Mitchell, race organizer and president of the Energy Systems Network, poses for a portrait during the Indy Autonomous Challenge during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7.

The software that drives the cars must predict how the other vehicles will behave, and according to Markus Lienkamp, ​​a professor from Munich, TUM, who won the October competition.

Nearby, Lienkamp’s students are glued to the screens.

“It will take place in milliseconds,” Mitchell said.

“The computer has to make the same decisions as a human driver, despite the speed.”

The IAC plans to hold more races along the lines of Friday – pitting two cars against each other in the hopes of reaching a level sufficient to one day drop all the vehicles together.

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