Audi’s first-ever Autonomous Driving Cup kicked off today at the Audi museum in Ingolstadt. The competition will bring ten teams from universities all over Germany together under one roof as they compete to see who has developed best the autonomous driving software over the past 6 months.
The students received 1:8 scale Q5 models last autumn that are powered by an electric motor and have a top speed of 40 km/h (about 25 mph). The models also included a basic, uniform software system the students would have to develop on their own to recognize inputs from the model’s camera and sensors. Audi says the model’s autonomous driving systems share similarities with their actual series‑produced automobiles, giving the students knowledge applicable in real-world situations.
All of the teams’ models will be required to navigate a 300 square-meter course, reacting to oncoming traffic and traffic at crossroads, completing difficult parking scenarios and avoiding obstacles that appear suddenly. The team whose model gets through the course as fast as possible without making mistakes will win. Judges will also hear each teams’scientific discourse in which the members will describe how they programmed their vehicles. On the final day of the competition, a ‘freestyle’ driving event will be held, where they will be able to demonstrate their own creative driving solutions and maneuvers.
At the end of the weekend, the team with the most points will win the gran prize of 10,000 euros, with 5,000 euros going to the second‑place team and 1,000 euros being given to the third place team. Even if they don’t win, participants still stand a good chance at being recruited by Audi, with the automaker planning to hire 6,000 employees worldwide.