LAS VEGAS, Nev. (January 4, 2022) —Energy Systems Network (ESN) today announced the first spinoff company to form through its Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) – driveblocks. TUM Autonomous Motorsport, Technische Universität München (Germany), winner of the IAC $1 million competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 23, 2021, is launching a new Autonomy Platform company for SAE Level 4 and 5 applications at CES. This as the IAC prepares to make history at CES® 2022 with the first high-speed, head-to-head autonomous racecar competition on Friday, January 7, 2022, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“The IAC is a platform for innovation,” said Paul Mitchell, president and CEO, Energy Systems Network, organizer of the IAC. “This competition is not only about catapulting autonomous technologies forward, but it’s also about educating and inspiring innovators and entrepreneurs to go out and lead the industry for generations to come, and that’s exactly what’s happening here with driveblocks and the TUM team.”
driveblocks has a vision to offer a modular, scalable, robust and safe platform for fully autonomous vehicle applications (SAE Level 4 and 5). The company plans to focus entirely on applications without any human drivers, with an early roadmap targeting the commercial vehicle sector to first offer a complete solution to fleet automation and then allow customers to focus on domain specific expertise (mining, agriculture, warehouse logistics, etc.)
Harnessing the power of prize competitions to attract the best and brightest minds from around the world, the Indy Autonomous Challenge is working to solve real world problems by advancing technology that will speed the commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles and deployments of advanced driver-assistance systems.
“The IAC allowed us to build a large team of researchers and students, work with top international universities and collaborate with leading autonomous technology supplies,” said Alexander Wischnewski, co-team lead of TUM Autonomous Motorsport and CTO of driveblocks. “The competitive environment allowed us to grow our technical and management skills in real-world racing conditions, one of the most demanding applications of technology. It’s exactly what we needed to start driveblocks, and the advancements we’re making because of this launch will help us tackle some of the yet unsolved challenges in the autonomous vehicle industry.”
The Autonomous Challenge @ CES competition is scheduled to begin at 12 PM PT at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Only CES 2022 credentialed attendees and media are permitted to attend in-person. Other CES attendees can watch the live stream at http://www.indyautonomouschallenge.com and on Twitch @IndyAChallenge.
In addition to the Autonomous Challenge @ CES, the IAC will also have the Dallara AV-21, the world’s most advanced autonomous racecar on display in its booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), West Hall Booth#5029.