Two weeks ago, I joined numerous customers and partners in being able to see, touch, and hear Cisco’s technology in action during the Indy Autonomous Challenge powered by Cisco at the Texas Motor Speedway.  

Cisco was proud to be the presenting sponsor of the head-to-head autonomous racecar competition which featured six university teams from across the globe. 

Despite an extended rain delay and adverse weather conditions, the competition was fierce and well worth the wait as teams showcased the best of autonomous innovation. The autonomous race cars bobbed and weaved around the track, reaching speeds of 140 mph and putting on an incredible show. Ultimately, team PoliMOVE hoisted the cup in the winner’s circle. 

But this event was more than just autonomous cars competing for a trophy – it was a glimpse into the endless applications this technology presents and the young minds that will help power our future.

Innovators of the future 

Prior to the competition, 1,800 students from North Texas participated in the Cisco STEM Zone. At Cisco, we believe in student researchers and their ability to innovate for the future. Our goal is to foster the talent pipeline that is foundational to our world’s most critical industries – and let me tell you, these kids were tenacious and their excitement for technology was infectious.  

The Cisco STEM Zone provided students with a playground to gain hands-on experience with advanced robotics and wireless technologies. It exposed them to the best and brightest robotics minds from around the globe and gave them visibility into innovative technology. It was a tangible example of our mission to power inclusive learning for all.   

Cisco technology in action 

Cisco Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul and Cisco industrial switching technology, were at the center of the competition as Cisco enabled all critical in-vehicle and car-to-trackside connectivity with the Dallara AV-21 racecars. Only Cisco could meet the architectural, bandwidth, hand-off requirement, and session management needs to power and connect the race.

Cisco is committed to driving the future of connectivity forward for every type of automated industry, and we couldn’t ask for a more ideal testing and proving ground to push the boundaries of innovation than the Indy Autonomous Challenge.  

Autonomous operations in industries 

The needs for connecting autonomous race cars are the same for connecting autonomous operations across industries. 

Whether it’s automated guided vehicles on a factory floor or logistics terminals, driverless trains, or tele-remote operations, autonomous operations hinge on the network’s ability to instantly and securely deliver large amounts of data. Cisco solutions can do just that, while delivering reliable connectivity at high speeds and at scale.  

Regardless of the industry, autonomous operations require organizations to transform their IT infrastructure to accommodate such innovation. Cisco’s comprehensive SASE and hybrid cloud solutions are enabling our customers to transition to new multi-cloud and multi-app approaches.

The future of autonomous 

My experience at the Texas Motor Speedway reaffirmed my confidence that with the power of Cisco technology and the enthusiasm from younger generations, we will continue delivering next-gen automation capabilities not only in transportation, but also in industries like manufacturing, mining, ports and more. 

If you missed the livestream, I encourage you to watch the replay of the broadcast here. 


Wes Sylvester

Vice President, Industry Solutions Group

Cisco Marketing