General Motors and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) have partnered to launch the SAE AutoDrive II Challenge, a university-level competition that challenges student engineers to develop and demonstrate an autonomous vehicle.
Expanding on the first edition of the AutoDrive Challenge, AutoDrive II will require teams to develop an SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicle, which they will then have to demonstrate on a series of challenging urban driving courses. For its part of the commitment, GM will supply participating university teams with “a new GM vehicle and technical training and mentorship from experienced industry engineers, along with technology, components, analytical tools, knowledge and technical training from additional corporate sponsors.” The vehicle GM supplied for the initial AutoDrive Challenge was a Chevrolet Bolt EV.
GM and SAE announced the first edition of the AutoDrive Challenge last year, which was won by a team of graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Toronto. Students will face a harder challenge this year, though, as the competition is designed to be
increasingly more complex with each year, ensuring it keeps pace with the ongoing development of autonomous driving technology.
For the first AutoDrive Challenge, students were required to develop the concept design and other small programming tasks for the project for on-site evaluation. In 2019, teams tested their cars in a series of relatively simple driving scnearios with stationary objects. Students will get to see how their concepts might work in the real world with AutoDrive II, though, as they will have to navigate an active urban driving course while in SAE Level 4 automated driving mode.
In a statement, GM said its continuing support for the AutoDrive Challenge is representative of its commitment to its Vision Zero mandate.
“Our vision is a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” said GM’s vice president of controls, software & electronics. “Achieving that vision will take some of the best and brightest minds, which is why General Motors supports universities and STEM students in the Automated Driving Systems technical challenge. The advanced challenges and opportunities in this program give students some of the skills and experience to become future innovators and developers of self-driving vehicles.”
Universities or students interested in the AutoDrive II Challenge can learn more about the competition at this link. The competition will be held from June 8th through to June 14th in East Liberty, Ohio.