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Inaugural ‘Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League’ begins 27 April, with $2.25 million prize pool

Inaugural ‘Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League’ begins 27 April, with $2.25 million prize pool
23 Apr 2024 19:07


Abu Dhabi will host a groundbreaking event on 27th April, welcoming 10,000 spectators to witness ASPIRE's inaugural Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League (A2RL) at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit. This brand-new autonomous racing competition marks a significant milestone in motorsport history, billed as the largest league of its kind globally.

Eight teams will compete: Code19 Racing (one of the first independent autonomous racing entity from the USA), Constructor University (based in Germany and Switzerland), Fly Eagle (representing Beijing Institute of Technology from China and Khalifa University from the UAE), HUMDA Lab (a member of the Széchenyi István University Group from Hungary), KINETIZ (a collaboration between Singapore Nanyang Technological University and Kintsugi based in the UAE), PoliMOVE (representing Politecnico di Milano from Italy), UNIMORE (also from Italy - University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), and Technical University of Munich - TUM (from Germany), vying for a substantial prize purse of US$2.25 million.

The participating teams of coders and engineers will each have exclusive access to identical Dallara Super Formula SF23 cars, made possible through a partnership with Japan Race Promotions. These cars will be autonomised with autonomous racing stacks developed and integrated by the Technology Innovation Institute (TII). The sole variable lies in how each team utilises their coding skills, AI algorithms, and machine learning software development expertise to teach their cars how to drive. Currently recognised as the fastest open-wheel race car in the world after Formula One, these cars can reach speeds of up to 300 km/h.

For the first time, the race format is poised to feature four autonomous cars driving on the racetrack simultaneously – a feat never before attempted. In a series of pre-qualifying races, the finale will showcase the top performers from the Lap Test and Speed Test, advancing to a final Overtaking Challenge to determine the ultimate winner. Additionally, an AI vs Human car race will unfold, with the TII embracing the electrifying challenge of pitting their autonomous car against former F1 driver – Daniil Kvyat. TII will aim to get as close as possible to the human lap time and will also demonstrate the autonomous car’s ability to drive without GPS assistance.

Faisal Abdulaziz Mohammed Al Bannai, Adviser to the UAE President for Strategic Research and Advanced Technology Affairs and Secretary-General of the Advanced Technology Research Council - ASPIRE’s parent entity, said, "In pushing the boundaries of technology under extreme conditions, we uncover new frontiers in science. This reimagined racing paradigm harnesses the pinnacle of coding skills, AI algorithms, and software development prowess — the very skill sets of the future. By leveraging these capabilities, we pave a path at the forefront of research and development, propelling Abu Dhabi to become a pivotal global hub for innovation."

ADNOC has come on board as title sponsor, providing crucial support, and underscoring the widespread enthusiasm for advancing autonomous racing technology.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNOC, said, "As we navigate the path to UAE's industrial future, our commitment to in-country value and technological advancement stands unwavering. A2RL epitomises our dedication to integrating cutting-edge technology including AI, driving competitiveness and economic growth across sectors. For decades, ADNOC has invested in the latest technology and innovation – from the control room to the boardroom - to deliver the modern energy that powers our lives."

Stephane Timpano, CEO of ASPIRE, organiser of A2RL, said, "A2RL is more than just a race — it's a platform for testing and optimising autonomous vehicle technologies, enhancing safety and reliability on public roads. With the support of local and international partners, we're bringing the mobility future - closer."

The inaugural A2RL event is part of Abu Dhabi Mobility Week, running from 24th April to 1st May.

Source: WAM
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