Look Ma, No Hands!

The University of Virginia's Cavalier Autonomous Racing Club and its faculty advisor Madhur Behl, assistant professor with joint appointments in UVA Engineering’s Department of Computer Science and Department of Engineering Systems and Environment, are competing in the world’s first fully autonomous race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this October. The Indy Autonomous Challenge will reward the winning team with a $1 million prize.

The CAVALIER AUTONOMOUS RACING CLUB was initiated in 2020 through a $50,000 grant from the Jefferson Trust to give students across Grounds an opportunity to collaborate in real-world experiences like the ones Behl offers in his F/10 Autonomous Racing course. This year, Behl earned a CAREER Award  from the National Science Foundation for his pioneering research that will accelerate safety for autonomous vehicles.

We’re following what the team is up to as members prepare for the Indy Autonomous Challenge through this video series, but we’re not the only ones paying attention. We invite you to check back for new episodes of “Look Ma, No Hands!” as well as ongoing media coverage of the competition.

In the News


Mashable: These cars go 180 miles per hour — and will race without drivers

Yahoo News: Self-driving race cars make history in Indianapolis

Autoweek: Here's What You Missed From the Indy Autonomous Challenge Main Event

Look Ma, No Hands! Episode Eight

Madhur Behl and the team get to test their algorithms with a pre-race lap around the track during final preparations for competing against the best teams in the world for a $1 million prize.

Look Ma, No Hands! Episode Seven

Madhur Behl shares his best advice with future autonomy industry leaders.

Look Ma, No Hands! Episode Six

Madhur Behl demystifies the math behind the algorithms with some help from a cooking analogy.

Look Ma, No Hands! Episode Five

Madhur Behl takes us under the hood of the Dallara IL15 race car.

Look Ma, No Hands! Episode Four

Madhur Behl explains why racing is the ideal way to push the limits of safety and fast-track discovery for self-driving technology.

Look Ma, No Hands! Episode Three

Madhur Behl and Cavalier Autonomous Racing Team members share lessons learned from collaborating to program a fully autonomous racecar that will clock 200 kilometers per hour on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Look Ma, No Hands! Episode Two

Madhur Behl shares an update on the University of Virginia Team and their preparations for the Indy Autonomous Challenge, along with some reflections on NASA’s robotic helicopter named Ingenuity.

Look Ma, No Hands! Episode One

Madhur Behl talks about how the hobby of autonomous motorsports turned into an international sensation and recognized method to develop safer autonomous systems.

Student Voices

  • Trent Weiss

    UVA Engineering computer science Ph.D. candidate Trent Weiss shares the excitement and make-or-break-moment nerves leading to the first-ever Indy Autonomous Challenge Oct. 23.

    Hear Trent's Take
  • Aron Harder

    UVA Engineering computer science Ph.D. candidate Aron Harder talks about how his previous work in autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles led him to the Indy Autonomous Challenge taking place Oct. 23.

    Hear Aron's Take
  • Amar Kulkarni

    UVA Engineering computer science graduate student Amar Kulkarni describes preparation for the Indy Autonomous Challenge - taking place Oct. 23 - as a crash course in robot operating systems and adaptability.

    Hear Amar's Take
  • Varundev Suresh Babu

    Computer engineering Ph.D. candidate Varundev Suresh Babu talks about the importance of the Indy Autonomous Challenge, taking place Oct. 23, for increasing knowledge that will benefit not only UVA Engineering, but the entire field of autonomy.

    Hear Varundev's Take
  • Jingyun Ning

    Jingyun Ning, a computer engineering Ph.D. candidate at UVA Engineering, appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with other UVA students in preparing for the Indy Autonomous Challenge, taking place Oct. 23. 

    Hear Jingyun's Take