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Indy Autonomous Challenge to use RTI software to build and race autonomous vehicles

Real-Time Innovations (RTI), a software framework provider for smart machines and real-world systems, has joined the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC), the two-year, $1.5 million university competition to advance autonomous mobility technologies and enable the next generation of mobility leaders.

RTI is providing software to more than 500 students globally to design and develop the control software to autonomously race full-size, modified Dallara IL-15 racecars.

The students are competing in the first-ever head-to-head, high-speed autonomous race on the world’s largest racing stage, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in October 2021.

For this challenge, university teams from around the world will use the RTI open software framework, Connext DDS, to design, simulate and run on specially modified Dallara IL-15 racecars on the track.

RTI’s software framework allows applications to exchange data in real time, while providing non-stop availability and security.

Connext DDS is fully compatible with ROS2, AutoStar and other systems, enabling more rapid prototyping and development. With car speeds expected to top 200 mph, students and their advisors can feel confident knowing that Connext DDS provides safety that is certifiable to the highest ISO-26262 standard.

Matt Peak, managing director of Energy Systems Network, a primary organizer of the IAC, says: “One of the IAC’s primary goals is to solve ‘edge-case’ scenarios – situations that only occur at extreme operating parameters, such as avoiding unanticipated obstacles at high speeds while maintaining vehicular control.

“Such a task would be impossible without real-time data transfer. RTI’s partnership gives our teams a strong foundation for racing.”

Neil Puthuff, senior software integration engineer and project leader at RTI, says: “This race is a formidable challenge, with a required lap speed that is faster than some winning professional racers over the last decade. It will require ingenuity and making the most of every microsecond in the control system.

“The students need a proven, maximum performance framework for their cars that can handle the extremes and integrate whatever software they create or select for victory – from initial prototypes and simulation, through field trials and on to race day.

“Great competition spawns great innovation, and we’re proud to be part of a challenge that will look to inspire the next-generation of mobility leaders and move the industry forward.”

RTI joins an elite group of automotive and technology leaders including Ansys, Aptiv and Microsoft as official sponsors in the challenge. The IAC is supported by the RTI University Program, which enables university research and hands-on education.

Universities around the world are using RTI technology to support their research in areas including robotics, autonomous vehicles, space exploration, connected healthcare and more.

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