Team Na-Sarathy of Humanitarian Technology (HuT) Labs, Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri Campus, placed 12th in the world ranking in the Hackathon 2 of Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC), organized by Energy Systems Network (ESN) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). The hackathon was held for a week from September 12 – 19, 2020. Thirty-one universities worldwide that excel in AI software and autonomous vehicle engineering formed 31 teams to officially enter this hackathon, which was the first-of-its-kind challenge.  

Na-Sarathy was one of the only two teams participating from India. Only 19 teams could complete the given tasks in the hackathon. Team Na-Sarathy surpassed top universities like the University of Wisconsin, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Pittsburgh and Colorado State University. 

The primary goal of the Challenge was to advance technology that can speed the commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles and deployments of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). These enhancements will lead to increased safety and performance in all modes of racing and commercial transportation. In addition, the competition was a platform for students to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). 

The IAC is a $1.5 million prize competition among universities to program autonomous-modified Dallara IL-15 race cars. The teams will compete in the world’s first head-to-head race at speeds of up to 200 mph around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 23, 2021. 

“We are very happy that a team of undergraduate students and researchers from Humanitarian Technology (HuT) Labs became successful in this hackathon by receiving a 12th position. It was our Chancellor Sadguru Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi’s initiative that led our team to work on driverless cars. This challenge will be the best platform to showcase our university’s skills and expertise in autonomous vehicles. Amrita is one of the only two universities which qualified for this race car competition from India and one of five from Asia,” said Dr. Rajesh Kannan Megalingam (Director, HuT Labs and Assistant Professor, Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri Campus), who is also the team lead. 

“This is an extraordinary challenge, calling on the best and brightest of our university students and faculty worldwide to engineer software that will have a significant impact on the future of all classes of transportation,” said Paul Mitchell, President and CEO, ESN. “The diversity of the teams, representing ten countries on four continents, shows the brilliance and ambition of our young people around the world. We are thankful to our collaborators and sponsors: IMS, Dallara, Ansys, Aptiv, and Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), which have joined forces to power the competition.” 

 

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