SAE International & GM Announce Collegiate Competition for Autonomous Technology

With driverless cars on the horizon, SAE International and General Motors have partnered as sponsors for AutoDrive Challenge. The program, from SAE International’s Collegiate Design Series, is a three-year autonomous vehicle competition, challenging students to develop and demonstrate a fully autonomous vehicle.

The primary objective is to successfully navigate an urban course in full automation as defined by SAE Standard (J3016), otherwise known as level 4 autonomy. Organizers are optimistic about the forthcoming benefits.

“SAE International is excited to expand our partnership with GM to build the future STEM workforce through the AutoDrive Challenge,” said Chris Ciuca, Director of Pre-Professional Programs at SAE International.

Ciuca also underscored the importance of the participants.

“AutoDrive Challenge launches a new platform to engage industry and academia in working towards a common goal of preparing the brightest young minds for the future of autonomous technologies,” he said.

Process & Application

AutoDrive Challenge students will work extensively on autonomous technology, allowing for further modification and testing during the three-year competition. Students will study and apply the everyday uses of the technology by analyzing the various sensors, software, and computing platforms associated with driverless cars. Advanced methods like computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and sensor fusion will each be examined and applied by AutoDrive Challenge participants.

Platforms & Opportunities

General Motors is providing a Chevrolet Bolt EV as the platform vehicle.

“AutoDrive Challenge is another way General Motors is preparing the next generation of automotive engineers,” said Ken Kelzer, GM Vice President of Global Vehicle Components and Subsystems. “By partnering with SAE, we will offer a unique experience for students to work with industry professionals to tackle the next big opportunity facing vehicle technology – autonomous driving.”

AutoDrive Challenge will consist of up to 10 teams from select universities that were invited to participate in the inaugural competition. These teams will be announced in April, with the first of three yearly competitions taking place in the spring of 2018.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.

About The Author

Carl represents automakers in their marketing and product development arms as a Vehicle Coach, Product Specialist, and Facilitator. He has worked with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Volvo, and Local Motors. Carl is the Immediate Past President of Detroit Working Writers and on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation. He enjoys a multitude of health and fitness activities and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

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