Dallara releases autonomous race car concepts for Indy Autonomous Challenge competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Top global universities are registering to compete for the $1 million prize

[News Release]

INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 11, 2019) – Dallara, Energy Systems Network (ESN) and Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), today unveiled conceptual renderings of the autonomous Dallara-built race car that will be used by university race teams in the Indy Autonomous Challenge at IMS throughout 2021.

The Indy Autonomous Challenge is a $1 million prize competition among universities to create software that enables self-driving Indy Lights race cars to compete in a head-to-head, high-speed autonomous vehicle race at IMS. The development of such software can help speed the commercialization of highly autonomous vehicles and enhance existing advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in people-driven cars. These technologies help drivers remain in control and avoid accidents by prompting awareness and improving accuracy.

Dallara rendering of autonomous race car in Turn One of Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Downloadable renderings of the autonomous-capable Dallara race car can be found here.

Dallara designed the concepts for the autonomous version of its 210 mph IL-15 race car at its world headquarters in Parma, Italy.  For the Indy Autonomous Challenge, Dallara worked closely with ESN and CU-ICAR to develop projections as to how autonomous vehicle technologies might be integrated into the vehicle to inform the final competition vehicle design.

Renderings of the autonomous-capable Dallara race car can be viewed here.

Downloadable renderings of the autonomous-capable Dallara race car can be found here.

“The Indy Autonomous Challenge provided our designers with a unique opportunity to envision how emerging automotive technologies can be efficiently packaged and tightly integrated into an otherwise conventional vehicle while maintaining the vehicle’s performance and integrity,” said Stefano dePonti, CEO and general manager of Dallara USA. “With our renderings, university teams can better envision what it will be like to work hands-on with what will be a world-class performance automobile.”

Through Clemson University’s long-running vehicle prototype program Deep Orange, Clemson graduate automotive engineering students will lead a collaborative process that includes all Indy Autonomous Challenge registered teams to engineer the autonomous-capable version Dallara race car by equipping it with industry standard computers and sensors. Participating teams will be directly involved in the converted vehicle’s design and specifications through monthly virtual design reviews (VDRs) and other feedback channels throughout the competition. Once complete, teams will access their own vehicles and program them using team-developed software during track practice days that begin in May 2021 and for the final race, which takes place on October 23, 2021 at IMS.

Indy Autonomous Challenge attracting prestigious global universities to register and compete

The Indy Autonomous Challenge is also announcing that 13 top global universities are among an initial number of schools that have already registered to compete. Registration is open through the end of February 2020.

“Universities recognize that there’s value not only in chasing the Indy Autonomous Challenge’s $1 million top prize, but also in the Challenge’s ample supporting components,” said Matt Peak, director of mobility at ESN.  “In the first year alone, teams will be resourced with multiple industry-leading simulation software licenses by our Simulation Sponsor ANSYS, expert-led workshops and hackathons to help them advance their abilities to program and race their cars at high speeds.”

Universities registered to compete in the Indy Autonomous Challenge:

Ariel University (Israel) University of Florida
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Kookmin University (South Korea) University of Michigan – Dearborn
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology – KAIST (South Korea) United States Military Academy (West Point)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology University of Virginia
Technical University of Munich (Germany) University of Waterloo (Canada)
Texas A&M  

Downloadable renderings of the autonomous-capable Dallara race car can be found here.

“The Indy Autonomous Challenge is that bold call to action that our team members have been hungry for,” said Carl Crane, leader of Gator Double Dragon, a collaborative team comprised of the University of Florida and Kookmin University of South Korea.  “We see participation as our opportunity not just to excite our students and push the envelope on autonomous vehicle technologies, but also to ensure that University of Florida and Kookmin University graduates play a leading role in shaping and advancing this promising emerging industry.”

Registration is open for accredited, tax-exempt colleges and universities (including foreign institutions of higher education) through Feb. 28, 2020. For more information about the Indy Autonomous Challenge and to register for the competition, visit www.indyautonomouschallenge.com.


About Energy Systems Network: ESN was founded in 2009 to accelerate the pace of energy and transportation technology development and commercialization. Through ESN, companies and institutions from across Indiana and around the world – including Cummins, Duke Energy, Delphi, Toyota, Bolloré, ITOCHU, Toshiba, CenterPoint Energy, MISO, Purdue University, Ivy Tech, Notre Dame and many others – have showcased and advanced new technologies and solutions through industry research, pilot projects, collaborative convening, and the development and deployment of innovation models. ESN has also played leading roles in developing and launching the first and largest all-electric car sharing system in the nation, the largest electric bus fleet and first electric bus rapid transit line, and the first mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) public fleet contract, among others. ESN is based in Indianapolis and is part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP). For more information, visit www.energysystemsnetwork.com.

About Dallara: Dallara is a world-leader in the design and manufacture of racing cars.  In July 2012, Dallara gave the strongest possible indication of its commitment to the US market by opening the Dallara IndyCar Factory in Speedway, Indiana.  The center is a fully functioning R&D facility and a consultancy partner to the US automotive, aerospace, and motorsports industries.  For more information, visit www.dallara.it.

About the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the world’s largest spectator sporting facility, has been the worldwide leader in motorsports entertainment since opening in 1909. IMS hosts the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the world’s largest single-day annual sporting event, which features the stars of the NTT IndyCar Series. The Speedway also annually hosts the stars of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship during the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line event week, which also includes the Indiana 250 and Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink. Living up to its reputation as a bucket list sporting venue featuring a diverse variety of racing, throughout the 2020 season IMS also will welcome the competitors of the MotoAmerica motorcycle series and the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli and GT World Challenge America sports car championships. Visit IMS.com for a full list of dates and ticket purchase options.

About the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research: CU-ICAR is a 250-acre advanced-technology research campus where university, industry and government organizations collaborate. Home to Clemson’s Department of Automotive Engineering, CU-ICAR offers master’s and Ph.D. programs in automotive engineering and is conducting leading-edge applied research in critical areas, such as advanced product-development strategies, sustainable mobility, intelligent manufacturing systems, and advanced materials. Housed at CU-ICAR, Deep Orange (CuicarDeepOrange.com) is an educational framework designed to teach systems engineering principles and encourage students to push the boundaries of innovation. Students gain experience in developing market analysis, customer profiles, vehicle design, prototyping, and manufacturing while balancing costs and design targets in an aggressive timeline. Students work collaboratively with multi-disciplinary faculty and participating industry partners to design and produce a vehicle concept that meets a specific grand challenge.



Paige Geer, Manager of Communications & Operations, Energy Systems Network

Phone: 317-223-0925      Email: [email protected]


Raquel Bahamonde, Director of Communications, CICP/Energy Systems Network

Phone: 317-319-6875    Email: [email protected]


Alex Damron, Sr. Director of Communications, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Phone: 317-492-6734      Email:
[email protected]


Ashley Boncimino, Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research

Phone: 864-735-2076      Email: [email protected]


Gianmarco Beltrami, Marketing & Communication Director, Dallara
Phone: +39 0525 550711               Email:
[email protected]