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Announcing Microsoft as the official Cloud Computing Sponsor of the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC). The IAC is a $1.5 million prize competition among universities to program autonomous-modified Dallara IL-15 racecars. Thirty-one 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.

The automotive industry is going through an industry-wide transformation and autonomous systems development is a high-profile contributor to these changes. The IAC’s goal of bringing public awareness to the impact of automation in the automotive industry has brought together industry leaders, institutions of higher education, and technology partners in autonomous development. Microsoft is a key partner to the evolving automotive industry, so it is a natural fit for us to play a role in elevating the visibility of the amazing opportunities available in the automotive industry for tomorrow’s engineering graduates.

“With participation from teams around the world, the IAC competitors needed a powerful cloud platform that enables development of radically advanced technologies while collaborating with team members in various remote environments,” said Matt Peak, managing director of Energy Systems Network (ESN), who along with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are primary organizers of the Indy Autonomous Challenge “ESN is excited that Azure is now in the hands of Indy Autonomous Challenge university teams as we welcome Microsoft as an official sponsor.”

We look forward to working directly with the 37 international universities and their nearly 450 student team members who will be competing in this challenge as they build their technical acumen, their automotive knowledge, and their professional networks through interactions with industry professionals.  As Microsoft continues to support the broader academic community with their transitions to remote and blended learning, it is especially relevant to be part of a community that will be learning, creating, and interacting in a virtual environment. We are honored to be part of the IAC as it develops the future leaders in autonomous technology and looks forward to supporting these efforts throughout the course of the challenge and into the future.

“The accelerated growth of autonomy is one of the trends shaping the future of mobility,” said Sanjay Ravi, Automotive GM at Microsoft.  “We at Microsoft are happy to support and amplify awareness of the amazing work that is being done in the autonomous development space and highlighted so well by the Indy Autonomous Challenge. I look forward to seeing the innovations driven by the hard work and creativity of all the students engaged here.”

Microsoft’ Azure cloud platform is empowering innovation among the automotive and motorsports engineering communities. Azure features a large range of specialized software and infrastructure offerings that optimize complex engineering workloads that have stringent and specific requirements. Microsoft has automotive customers and partners that successfully utilize Azure for geo-distributed cloud-based workstations, as well as crash tests, CFD, and multi-physic simulations. We are deeply committed to supporting a strong and diverse ecosystem of software partners to ensure automotive workloads are first-class citizens on Azure and deliver a superior customer experience.

To learn more about Microsoft’s solutions for the automotive industry visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/industry/automotive

To learn more about the Indy Autonomous Challenge visit: https://www.indyautonomouschallenge.com/