SAE, most known in automated-vehicle circles for the J3016 automated driving level guidelines, has another less well-known, but important program: to educate future AV engineers. Called the AutoDrive Challenge, the three-year program brings together student engineering teams from universities to test and develop technologies for Level 4 autonomous vehicles.

Each year of the program, SAE will host a competition among participating student groups, culminating in a final competition that tasks the vehicles with navigating an urban driving course. Throughout the three-year competition cycle, students and faculty will be invited to attend technology workshops to help in concept refinement and overall autonomous technical understanding. The competition consists of eight university teams that were invited to participate in the inaugural competition.

Year 1 (2018) focused on the concept selection for the university teams by having them become familiar with their sensing and computation software. Year 2 (2019) will focus on urban environment driving scenarios with static and dynamic objects at Mcity. The overall competition, as well as individual teams, have garnered great student and industry support.

Among them, General Motors is the competition’s organizing partner; official supplier Velodyne LiDAR Inc. is providing up to two VLP-16 Puck sensors and technical support to each team; and BlackBerry Ltd. is providing QNX software and training to Virginia Tech’s team.

Other official suppliers are Continental, Intel, MathWorks, and OXTS, and integrated product sponsors are Bosch, Dassault Systems SolidWorks, FEV, Here, Kistler, MSC Software, Hexagon Positioning Intelligence, On Semiconductor, SAE Detroit, and ZF.

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