IU Luddy School partners with CODE19 Racing to develop autonomous racing AI
For Immediate Release
Sep 28, 2023
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University will partner with the world’s first professional autonomous racing franchise, CODE19 Racing Inc., to participate in global competitions of self-driving race cars, an emerging sector in the world of racing.
IU and CODE19 kicked off the partnership Sept. 26 to 28 during a workshop and “starting grid” event with graduate students and faculty at the IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, who will create the first AI driver for CODE19.
“We are thrilled to partner with CODE19 Racing,” said Joanna Millunchick, dean of the IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. “This is an unmatched opportunity for our students to apply their skills to real-world problems and to compete against the best AI teams in the world. AI racing truly has the potential to advance autonomous vehicle technology in the same way that motorsports technology has advanced the consumer automotive industry.”
A member of the IU Ventures’ Founders and Funders Network, CODE19 has a mission of accelerating the development of autonomous driving technology by developing and racing autonomous race cars at the highest level.
“As an IU alumni-founded startup, we are excited to partner with the IU Luddy School to develop the next generation of advanced AI for autonomous race cars,” said, Lawrence Walter, president of CODE19 Racing. “The Luddy School is home to some of the brightest minds in artificial intelligence, and we are excited to help IU develop a world-class AI driver.
“With the Luddy School at the controls, CODE19 will race in global competitions for autonomous race cars. These experimental competitions help accelerate the development of autonomous driving technology by providing a challenging and competitive environment for teams to test their AI drivers.”
The Luddy School is one of the largest and most comprehensive schools of its kind in the world. The CODE19 Racing AI driver will be developed by the school’s Vehicle Autonomy and Intelligence Lab, a state-of-the-art robotics research team led by Lantao Liu, a Luddy School associate professor of intelligent systems engineering.
An expert on robotics and artificial intelligence, Liu focuses on developing autonomous systems involving single or multiple robots with applications in autonomous navigation, smart transportation, and search and rescue. His lab specifically focuses on enhancing the autonomy and intelligence of robotic systems such as unmanned ground, aerial and aquatic vehicles.
The team will also have access to the deep pool of talent in informatics, computer science and engineering at the Luddy School in Indianapolis. Indianapolis-based advisors include Zebulun Wood, a lecturer in media arts and science, who will help develop the strategy for an interactive “avatar” for the AI driver, putting a face on the technology and interacting with the world.
A naval research and development laboratory in Crane, Indiana, NSWC Crane is responsible for developing and testing naval technologies, including autonomous systems.
“NSWC Crane is committed to advancing the state-of-the-art autonomous systems,” said Charles Colglazier, NSWC Crane liaison for IU and the National Security Innovation Network. “This innovative initiative with CODE19 Racing and IU will help rapidly develop and test new dual-use autonomous technologies that could be used to support the warfighters in the field. We’re excited to see how fast the Hoosiers’ AI driver can go.”
Support from the partnership will help attract top talent to the team and accelerate the development of the AI driver, Walter said.
“We are confident that our team has the skills and resources to manage winning AI drivers,” Walter said. “We are focused on competing globally and showing the world what IU can do on the race track.”