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Autonomous Electric Racing For Students

"The nation's premier student karting program goes driverless!"

Join the EV Grand Prix Autonomous Discord Chat Today To Stay Up To Date!

Join the growing community of EV Grand Prix Autonomous teams on Discord. Teams discuss event information, new technologies and developments, ask/answer questions, and more!

A proud partner of the EV Grand Prix

Hosted at Purdue Motorsports Complex

A special one-of-a-kind event that makes history by gathering universities together to compete against each other with fully autonomous race karts!

Hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

During the Indy 500 Festivities

What is Autonomous Racing?

No Driver. Just Software

Autonomous racing is the ultimate engineering challenge.  Combining the mechanical design of traditional auto-racing with the cutting-edge software controls of driverless vehicles, autonomous go-karts are the perfect platform to design, build, and test the vehicles of tomorrow.

The driver is replaced with a variety of sensors placed throughout the kart.  These sensors act as the eyes and ears of the vehicle, feeding the data to a control algorithm that students develop and tune.  Machine learning (artificial intelligence) is often used to interpret sensor data.  The challenge is who can engineer and build the most effective and fast driverless kart.

Autonomous racing brings a new thrill to the track combining high-speed karting with fascinatingly advanced technologies.

Why Electric Go-Karts?

Simple. Affordable. Scaleable.

Go-karts are the perfect platform to test new automotive technologies.  Teams already have enough on their plate having to design electric powertrains and autonomous systems, therefore it is best to use a reliable, well-documented, and affordable option as the chassis.

For this reason, Purdue chose go-karts back in 2009 when evGrand Prix began.  Almost 10 years of electric go-kart racing knowledge exists among the program’s participants.  The new autonomous series has a great foundation from which to build and grow into the competitive and highly-innovative program it will become.

Acquire a Go-Kart chassis.

Consider a kit from Top Kart.

Review available open-source designs

for inspiration and common practices.

Identify autonomous solutions to implement.

Consider implementing on small-scale first.

Bring your kart to Indy!

First year teams can run remote-controlled.

Learn more.

Build your Go-Kart as remote-controlled.

Validate powertrain, steering, throttle control

Your Kart. Your design.


Choose which motor, controller, and battery system you want to make up your powertrain.  Will you choose brushed or brushless? Synchronous or asynchronous/induction? Will your batteries be lead-acid or lithium?

Go-Kart Chassis

What go-kart frame will you install your systems on?  Top Kart has partnered with evGrand Prix to provide a brand new go kart kit at-cost for student teams.  Learn more.


What kind of sensors do you want/need to finish the race? Choose your combination of RADAR, LIDAR, [RTK] GPS, IMU, CV, and many more.


What controls logic will you implement to drive your kart?  There’s software to read/interpret sensors as well as software to calculate speed/steering commands. Consider open source solutions like OpenCV and ArduPilot. In addition, you will likely have firmware to run on your embedded microcontroller acting as an ECU.

Computer Hardware

An ECU (such as an arduino) will command your vehicle’s controls, but what system will run your autonomous software?  Most self-driving projects implement some form of Raspberry Pi.  Research popular additions like the Navio 2 for ArduPilot implementation.

Time to Race

For now, the race will consist of independent time trial laps.  Who can achieve the fastest autonomous lap around the evGrand Prix track?  Develop and tune your kart to navigate turns and straights as fast and efficiently as possible.

Autonomous Rules & Race Format