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GM Sponsoring SAE International’s College Competition to Create Autonomous Tech

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt

The 2017 Chevy Bolt EV

Today General Motors announced that it is partnering with SAE International to headline sponsor AutoDrive Challenge, the latest of SAE International’s Collegiate Design Series.

This new autonomous vehicle competition will give students three years to develop and demonstrate a full autonomous driving passenger vehicle. The goal is that by the third and final year, the vehicles will be able to navigate an urban driving course in an automated driving mode, as described by SAE Standard (J3016) level 4 definition.

There will be 10 teams from select universities participating in the inaugural competition, which will be announced in April 2017. The first of the three yearly competitions will take place in spring of the following year.

“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. “Building on our success through programs like Formula SAE, the 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.”


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During the three-year AutoDrive Challenge, competing students will focus on autonomous technologies and allow for modification and testing throughout. Each competing school will get a Chevy Bolt EV, courtesy of GM, to use as the platform for their autonomous vehicle solutions.

Students will be focused on real-world applications of sensing technologies, computing platforms, software design implementation, and advanced computation methods, including computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, artificial intelligence, sensor fusion, and autonomous vehicle controls.

“AutoDrive Challenge is another way General Motors is preparing the next generation of automotive engineers,” said Ken Kelzer, the 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.”

Students and faculty taking part in the AutoDrive Challenge will also be invited to attend technology specific workshops for helpful information throughout the competition cycle.


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