Published on November 16, 2023, 8:24 pm

Abu Dhabi, a rising hub for STEM empowerment and a pioneer in advanced technology, is set to host the world’s largest autonomous car racing event at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit in the second quarter of 2024. The Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League aims to push the boundaries of autonomous mobility and artificial intelligence (AI) by hosting challenges that advance research and development in autonomous racing.

The league’s applied research efforts will focus on developing cutting-edge solutions to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions while increasing the efficiency, safety, and performance standards of motorsports and commercial transportation. With a prize pool of up to US$2.25 million, this event offers an opportunity for teams from previous challenges, universities, and research institutes to showcase their advancements in autonomous driving technology.

Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), expressed his pride in launching the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League. He emphasized that this league will not only create a community platform for motorsports fans but also promote faster progress, testing, and innovation through an open development model supported by machine learning and reinforcement learning techniques.

The league is spearheaded by ASPIRE, ATRC’s program development arm, which collaborates with industry stakeholders, universities, and research institutes to frame problem statements. ASPIRE will leverage its exclusive access to Dallara-built Super Formula cars – known for their high speeds – to explore the potential of autonomous driving technology.

Japan Race Promotion, Inc. (JRP), responsible for Japan’s premier racing series Super Formula, will play a key role by providing expertise in race management accumulated over 50 years since 1973. Yoshihisa Ueno, JRP President, expressed his excitement about seeing racing and technology come together as they partner with ASPIRE for the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League.

Andrea Pontremoli, CEO of Dallara – renowned for designing and manufacturing groundbreaking racing cars – highlighted the opportunity to shape the future of mobility through this partnership. He stated that the league will drive new levels of performance, safety, efficiency, and sustainability in autonomous technologies.

The race promises to offer an immersive entertainment experience for viewers, with live updates from augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) infographics displayed on screen. It is expected to be the first in a series of autonomous vehicle races, positioning Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates as the world capital for extreme autonomous racing.

This race is open to teams from previous autonomous racing challenges, universities, and public and private research institutes interested in participating. The Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing Race is set to pave the way for future events, including autonomous offroad racing and drone racing. By hosting such pioneering events, Abu Dhabi is demonstrating its commitment to fostering technological advancements while establishing itself as a global leader in autonomous driving innovation.

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