UVA students’ self-driving car nabs second place in a major race

A team of students from the University of Virginia (UVA) showcased the capabilities of its self-driving Indy car by roaring into the finals of a major international race held earlier this month in Las Vegas.

The car took second place only after it decided – on its own – to break the rules by preventing its final opponent from passing.

“It’s taken years of very meticulous preparation to get to this point,” said School of Engineering and Applied Science professor Madhur Behl, who leads the team of students. “It was a very tall order, and our backs were against the wall to arrive at the (Consumer Electronics Show), qualify for race day, and prove ourselves, all within a span of four days.”

According to their claims, the team’s efforts in developing a 150-mph autonomous racer at a renowned track like Las Vegas Motor Speedway are aimed at more than just speed. They believe that their project will lead to significant breakthroughs that will benefit the racing industry and enhance the safety of self-driving passenger cars. These advancements are particularly important as the autonomous vehicle industry grapples with ongoing challenges in recent times.

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