The Indy Autonomous Challenge is a self-driving race series organized by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500. The organizers have explicitly modeled the competition after the DARPA Challenges, which kicked off the self-driving car boom fifteen years ago.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a great article on the effort to get the challenge off the ground and involve university students.
The series also bears similarity to Roborace, the Formula E autonomous series that has run for the last few years.
There is so much to learn from these races!
Most of the day-to-day challenges of self-driving cars center around perception and planning. Those skills are less central (although still critical) to race car driving. On the track, control of the vehicle is key, especially when we push the machine to its limits.
There is a whole new set of skills to be learned at hundreds of miles an hour. Eventually, that research will make its way to street-legal autonomous vehicles.