Eight Universities to Participate in GM/SAE International AutoDrive Challenge

Eight Universities to Participate in GM/SAE International AutoDrive Challenge

Eight Universities in the United States and Canada will take part in a three-year challenge to develop a fully autonomous passenger vehicle, General Motors and SAE International recently announced.

Students and faculty advisers from eight selected AutoDrive Challenge universities pose alongside a Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Students and faculty advisers from eight selected AutoDrive Challenge universities pose alongside a Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Eight Universities in the United States and Canada will take part in a three-year challenge to develop a fully autonomous passenger vehicle, General Motors and SAE International recently announced.

The technical goal of the AutoDrive Challenge is navigating an urban driving course in an automated driving mode as described by SAE Standard (J3016) Level 4 definition by the third year.

The universities are:

  • Kettering University
  • Michigan State University
  • Michigan Tech
  • North Carolina A&T University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Waterloo
  • 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 assist 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 this fall, 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. The simple missions can include straight roadway driving and object avoidance/detection. GM will host the Year 1 final competition at the automaker’s Desert Proving Ground in Yuma, Ariz.

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.

“GM is very excited to work closely with these eight universities over the next three years,” said Ken Kelzer, GM vice president of Global Vehicle Components and Subsystems. “The students and faculty at these schools bring deep knowledge and technical skills to the competition. We are proud to help offer these students the hands-on experience necessary for them to make an immediate impact on the automotive world when they graduate.”

GM and SAE International made the announcement at WCX 17: SAE World Congress Experience.

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