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November 2023 Member Spotlight

Ankit Khandelwal, the Vice President of Driverless, is leading the development and integration of our second ever autonomous race car, 22a. As we look to build on the success of 19a driving the first ever autonomous lap at US Competition last year, Ankit has been instrumental in setting our clear vision and timeline for the driverless team, while also developing his skills in computer vision and machine learning.

Ankit joined Carnegie Mellon Racing two years ago as a new member interested in Autonomous Race Cars. Since then, he has had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with object detection, localization, and mapping techniques. Ankit's experience in CMR also provided him with substantial technical expertise in developing software algorithms. However, for him, CMR's most valuable lesson has been the importance of effective leadership. Throughout Ankit's journey, he honed skills in motivating team members, instilling a sense of ownership in their work, and facilitating their overall growth within the club and professionally.

One of Ankit's defining moments in CMR was the Formula Hybrid + Electric competition in May of this year, when the team was racing against the clock to get our driverless car, 19a, to complete an exhibition lap. The team invested thousands of hours throughout the year to see the 19a project drive at the competition, but despite this work, the night before the exhibition lap, the car was still not working as intended. However, despite the miserable weather, the team were able to come together and fix the car in the final hour before the exhibition making CMR the first team to complete a driverless lap at an FSAE competition in the US.

Ankit's time in CMR has epitomized what the team is all about. In his words: "CMR has taught me to design solutions that solve complex problems. As a VP, I learned the importance of strong leadership and the joy of motivating a team of passionate engineers. I've learned to organize limited time and resources to create the best race car possible." Ankit personifies the spirit of innovation, collaboration, and personal growth that CMR nurtures in all our members.


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