Whether the teams of engineers and software designers involved in IAC can fare any better remains to be seen; however, if they really do have a car faster than Roborace, then seeing AIs go over 175 miles per hour at Indy should be extremely cool. Especially because these AIs will be loud.
Roborace, like most commercial autonomous vehicle developers, uses electric cars. However, on the list of modifications made to the Indy Lights car, IAC has said nothing about swapping the 2.0-liter, 450-horsepower four-cylinder engine for battery power.
Their release says, “The modified Dallara is retrofitted with hardware and controls to enable automation to enhance safety, control and performance. Components include rugged-edge on-board computing, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, perception systems, high-end graphics processing units (GPUs), drive-by-wire, and artificial intelligence acceleration and powerful central processing units to run IAC teams’ software and algorithms in the racecar.”
This means a whole lot of wiring, radar, lidar, cameras to enable computer “vision” and a whole host of onboard computers to actually do the maths on when to hit the brake or throttle. But it definitely doesn’t say anything about a battery.
You’d probably be hard-pressed to jam one into the back of an Indy Lights car, in any case, so look forward to a summer of petrolheaded robots hitting the ovals.