University of Waterloo students drove away from the first part of a competition to develop a self-driving car with four awards and a fourth place overall finish.
Competing in the three-year AutoDrive Challenge held April 30 to May 5 in Arizona, the WATonomous student team won first in the Social Responsibility Presentation, second in both the Concept Design Report and Mapping Challenge events and third in Technical Reports contest.
The goal of the AutoDrive Challenge, sponsored by the Society of Automotive and Aerospace Engineers International and General Motors, is for teams of undergraduate students to develop an autonomous car capable of navigating an urban course after progressively modifying it using sensing technologies, computing platforms, software design implementation and advanced computational methods.
The first part of the competition held at GM’s Desert Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona included the electrical designs of the cars and the execution of basic manoeuvres, such as detecting and avoiding objects, on a closed test track. Students worked on donated Chevrolet Bolt EV cars, with the Waterloo team divided into sub-teams to handle the software, mechanical, electrical and business aspects of the project.
The University of Toronto came first overall in the competition, which besides Waterloo, included Kettering University, Michigan State University, Michigan Tech, North Carolina A&T University, Texas A&M University and Virginia Tech.