General Motors and SAE International Select Eight Universities for Autonomous Vehicle Competition


Detroit automaker General Motors Co. and SAE International, a global association providing engagement opportunities for engineering professionals, today named eight universities that will compete in the upcoming AutoDrive Challenge.

The new autonomous vehicle design competition is a three-year challenge to develop and demonstrate a fully autonomous passenger vehicle, able to navigate an urban driving course by itself in year three.

Participating universities are: Kettering University in Flint, East Lansing’s Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University in Houghton, North Carolina A&T University, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and Virginia Tech.

Throughout the three-year competition, students will focus on autonomous technologies and allow for vehicle 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, platform recognition, machine learning, AI, sensor fusion, and autonomous vehicle controls.

“GM is very excited to work closely with these eight universities over the next three years,” says 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 will provide each team with a Chevrolet Bolt EV and strategic partners and suppliers will aid students in their technology development via vehicle parts and software. Technology-specific workshops will be held throughout the competition to help teams with concept refinement and overall understanding.

The competition will begin this fall, and the first year will focus on concept selection and writing concept design papers, as well as simple missions for on-site evaluation.

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