Autonomous Drivers — Start Your Engines! – Microsoft Industry Blogs


a close-up of a road
Fast motion blur of evening international race track with start finish line and light.

At the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it’s certainly not uncommon to see the sleek, aerodynamic shape of an Indy racing car exploring the limits of the track driven by one of the world’s best and fastest drivers. But see the same, without a driver?

As an avid car enthusiast and racing fan myself, this one caught my attention. the Indy Autonomous Challenge, led by Energy Systems Network, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit, has set itself an ambitious challenge: to enable university students to develop and demonstrate autonomous technologies at a live racing event featuring the same Dallara AV-21 cars used during the IndyCar season, equipped for an autonomous mission. The goal of this challenge? Raise awareness of the positive impact that automation can have in solving real problems such as improving road safety and reducing vehicle energy consumption.

While safety is a key area impacted by vehicle automation, the Indy Autonomous Challenge also recognizes the barriers that impact the advancement of these technologies. The group works to remove these barriers by highlighting cases that deal with extreme security scenarios, increasing the pool of talent and engineers to develop new intellectual property, and engaging the public to build understanding. and confidence in automated vehicles and the benefits they can offer to individuals and society.

As with any race, the stakes in this challenge were high: a prize of US $ 1 million to the university displaying the most autonomous prowess during the October 23, 2021 Challenge. One of the highlights of this initiative which matches Microsoft’s capabilities in the automotive industry is high performance computing and simulation. These capabilities enable automotive suppliers to accelerate innovation in the areas of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving systems (AD). As a sponsor of this initiative, Microsoft provided a high-performance Azure cloud computing environment to support the development efforts associated with the initiative.

Like our support for the Indy Autonomous Challenge, Microsoft enables our customers to drive accelerated automotive innovation, including the development of self-driving vehicles. Customers such as Audi AG and others rely on Azure High-Performance Computing (HPC) to cost-effectively manage engineering simulation environments such as prototyping, aerodynamics, physics, sensor performance testing and validation of autonomous driving.

It’s an exciting time in the autonomous space right now, as we’ve seen with recent announcements and developments in areas ranging from alternative fuel cell technology and autonomous deliveries to autonomous shared mobility services. . In addition to the latest investment in advanced mobility brought by the partnership between Cruise, GM and Microsoft market a new generation of autonomous vehicles.

My name is Aaron Lee and I recently joined our exciting Automotive, Mobility and Transportation team at Microsoft as a Product Marketing Lead. I look forward to discussing views and ideas about the automotive industry with you and, with my esteemed colleagues in the industry, to share how Microsoft is helping our customers innovate in the movement of people and goods.

While I always enjoy cheering on my favorite riders in the complex and harmonious mix of human and machine in racing, it’s also exciting to see opportunities like this challenge our way of thinking to solve complex problems. in an innovative way. Be sure to follow along to learn more about autonomous driving and other industry requirements that Microsoft is leading in the areas of. automotive, mobility and transport.

With a mission to impact the movement of people and products, Microsoft is accelerating the transformation of automotive businesses from traditional manufacturers to mobility service providers by creating personalized omnichannel experiences for their customers. Using information collected across customer touchpoints, vehicle, employees and manufacturing, Microsoft enables these organizations to accelerate technological innovation and monetize their own data through new services, redefining mobility. as an industry. Microsoft achieves this by focusing on trust, innovation, security and compliance, all fueled by our vast global ecosystem of partners.


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