The future of autonomous driving rests on karts

Students from all over the world challenged each other at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Student Karting World Finals, with Top-Kart USA autonomous electric karts.

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[translated with Google translator]

As documented by the material collected and shared by TKART’s friends Tino Cacopardo and Oliver Cebe, a few days before the start of the legendary Indy 500, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted another competition, with much more recent history, but launched into the future : the evGranPrix. A competition sponsored by Purdue University, now in its tenth edition, which takes place in the context of Student Karting World Finals and compares electrically propelled vehicles and autonomous driving.
A sort of “test of the future” which, however, rests on something historical and very concrete: the go-kart.
The reason? That said: the focus of the competition is the optimization of electric propulsion systems and autonomous navigation algorithms. Therefore, it is necessary for teams of students from all over the world to reduce any other mechanical complexity and keep the budget under control, already engaged in software and sensors. Missions that the simplicity and reliability of go-karts perform to perfection.

Hence the partnership between Purdue University and Top-Kart Usa was born, which has developed a kit including chassis, electric motor and controller, mandatory for all competitors in the Autonomous category. The batteries are the traditional lead batteries supplied by Interstate Batteries, with mandatory Top-Kart protection, and in the regulation there is no lack of hints about wheelbase measures or requirements for bumpers and fairings, as well as possible penalties such as in a race between … humans.
Research and development of new technologies, therefore, but in full racing spirit: the races of the evGranPrix take place in fact under the aegis of the World Karting Association and among the main partners, in addition to Top-Kart USA, there is also the tire manufacturer Hoosier Racing Tire, well known to overseas drivers.