Behl and his team of 11 engineering undergraduate and graduate students have worked for more than a year to develop, test and fine-tune the software that will control their car on Saturday.
“We are exceptionally proud of our students and Madhur for their hard work and dedication to this challenge – not just because of the chance to win bragging rights for UVA in a high-profile race, but because of the opportunities to advance knowledge and technologies for autonomous transportation and provide hands-on research experiences for students,” UVA Engineering Dean Jennifer L. West said. “With our eyes toward the immediate excitement as well as the promise for the future, we will watch the race with great anticipation on Saturday. Go Hoos!”
The Indy Autonomous Challenge Powered by Cisco got its start about two years ago, Behl said, when Energy Systems Network, an Indianapolis-based non-profit collaborating with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, brought together public, private and academic institutions to challenge university teams from around the world to develop and test a new generation of automated vehicle software.
An important goal of the high-profile race is to inspire the next generation of STEM talent. This is Behl’s passion, too. He trains students in his UVA Engineering classes to build 1/10th-scale autonomous cars and race them around a track in the Link Lab.