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Two Canadian universities among those chosen for AV competition

The universities of Toronto and Waterloo among institutions participating in the three-year challenge


May 10, 2017
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press

AutoDrive Challenge teams will use a Chevrolet Bolt EV as the platform for their autonomous vehicles. Image: GM

Detroit—SAE International and General Motors have announced the eight North American universities who will compete in the upcoming AutoDrive Challenge.

This new autonomous vehicle design competition is a three-year challenge to develop and demonstrate a fully autonomous passenger vehicle. The competition’s technical goal is navigating an urban driving course in an automated driving mode as described by SAE Standard (J3016) level 4 definition by Year three.

The universities are:

  1. Kettering University
  2. Michigan State University
  3. Michigan Tech
  4. North Carolina A&T University
  5. Texas A&M University
  6. University of Toronto
  7. University of Waterloo
  8. Virginia Tech

Throughout the three-year competition, students will focus on autonomous technologies and allow for modification and testing. They will work with real-world applications of sensing technologies, computing platforms, software design implementation and advanced computation methods such as computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, artificial intelligence, sensor fusion and autonomous vehicle controls.

GM will provide each team with a Chevrolet Bolt EV as the vehicle platform. Strategic partners and suppliers will aid the students in their technology development by providing vehicle parts and software. Throughout the AutoDrive Challenge competition cycle, students and faculty will be invited to attend technology-specific workshops to help them in their concept refinement and overall autonomous technical understanding.

Beginning in fall 2017, Year 1 will focus on concept selection for university teams by having them become familiar with sensing and computation software. They will be tasked with completion of a concept design written paper as well as simple missions for on-site evaluation. These simple missions can include straight roadway driving and object avoidance/detection. The Year 1 final competition will be hosted at GM’s Desert Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona.

In Year 2 the teams will refine their concept selections into solid system developments and will have more challenging dynamic events for testing on-site, including dynamic object detection and multiple lane changing.

Year 3 will culminate with final validation of design and concept refinement. They will navigate complex objectives of on-site testing, including higher speeds, turnabouts and moving object detection.