Earlier this year, I (Ed Curtis) was approached by the Autonomy Institute. They informed me that the Indy Autonomous Challenge is going to host its 3rd race in Texas at the Texas Motor Speedway in November.
We decided on a partnership where YTexas would feature their Indy Car at our Sept. 29th Gala and Sept 30th YTexas Summit at AT&T Stadium, and in exchange, we would invite executives and students out to the Indy Autonomous Challenge on November 11th.
It was perfect timing, as the press release about their sponsorship from Cisco came out on the evening of our Gala, Sept 29th. We showcased the vehicle at the entrance of our gala where over 250 Texas executives could view the car.
The YTexas Corporate Ambassadors and our team will be joining them on Nov 11th at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The event is expected to host over 1,000 Texas STEM students, several who learned of the Challenge at the Summit – most notably students from Del Valle High School, a few miles away from the Tesla Gigafactory near Austin where students are learning how to build and repair Teslas.
I had the opportunity to speak with Paul Mitchell, who is responsible for executing the race. Here is the interview!
He explained how the concept started (:49 – 9:20), how the race works (9:24 – 13:29), and the event’s 3 objectives: speeding up the commercialization of autonomous vehicles, getting the best and brightest minds to focus on the topic, and winning hearts and minds to embrace autonomous driving (13:30 – 18:27). We discussed the importance of industry, academia and government working together to advance the industry (18:27-22:20), Texas pro-business legislation for the autonomous industry (22:20-29:36), and what’s next for the race (29:36 – ending). I enjoyed the conversation and learned a lot about the emerging industry of autonomous vehicles, in Texas especially.
If anyone is in the area, come check out this race. It is open to the public for free. Visit: indyautonomouschallenge.com for info.