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Abu Dhabi team in ‘pole position’ at CES autonomous racing challenge

Abu Dhabi’s Technology Innovation Institute (TII) says it is in “pole position” at the first-ever CES autonomous racing challenge, although it’s not clear whether that means its car is literally in pole position on the grid or that the team is simply well prepared and positioned overall.

Abu Dhabi says its preparations are in full swing to mark its first participation as Team TII EuroRacing in the upcoming Autonomous Challenge @ CES 2022.

CES is regarded as the most influential tech event in the world. The inaugural autonomous high-speed, head-to-head autonomous racecar competition flags off at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on 7 January 2022.

Energy Systems Network (ESN), organizer of the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) in October 2021 and the current race, also announced that TII is a premier sponsor of the Autonomous Challenge @ CES.

Following a competitive showing at IAC, where TII-backed Team EuroRacing made it to the finals in a world record of 139 mph (223 kph) for the fastest average lap speed, this event will further boost TII and its Autonomous Robotics Research Center’s (ARRC) credentials as a leader in the development of autonomous racing systems vehicles.

TII’s ARRC will work for the next three years on the development of autonomous racecars, autonomous systems, and drones.

In addition to the TII contingent, Team TII-EuroRacing also comprises autonomous experts from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.

The team collectively brings to the track experience in designing, maintaining, and developing both software and hardware to operate autonomous racing vehicles of all specifications.

Riding on the success of its outing at the renowned Indy Autonomous Challenge, a $1.5 million university prize competition for motorsport fanatics, the CES 2022 tourney will see Team TII-EuroRacing up the ante and get the adrenaline pumping through battling it out with the world’s best autonomous racing teams in a blistering, high-stakes challenge.

The 12-member Team TII-EuroRacing says it is in “pole position to notch up an impressive performance” with its DO12 racecar, a Dallara AV-21 retrofitted with hardware and controls to enable automation, as well as advanced prototype software that is an ongoing work in progress – much like its glamorous F1 counterpart.

A key differentiator between the IAC and CES will be that while in Indianapolis the cars raced individually, at Las Vegas they will compete in pairs.

Speaking on TII’s participation at the world’s leading technology event, Dr Ray Johnson, CEO, TII, says: “TII is delighted to join forces with CES 2022 and bring back exciting, in-person events. We are making history as a key participant in this emerging autonomous racing field following the significant results that we achieved at the Indy Autonomous Challenge in October this year.

“Through fast-tracking innovation for future autonomous vehicles and robotic real-world applications, we hope to boost awareness for safety and sustainability in this challenging sport. Since this is the first overtaking race in the field, we will look forward to bringing home the top honors on race day.”

Dr Najwa Aaraj, chief researcher, Cryptography Research Center and acting chief researcher, ARRC, says: “We are gaining considerable insights through championing and participating in prestigious autonomous racing events such as the Autonomous Challenge @CES and previously in the Indy Autonomous Challenge.

“The fluid, complex environment of the world’s fastest racetracks serves as the most advanced and extreme testbeds for robotics and autonomous vehicles, and they will help accelerate our rate of innovation as we develop and prototype some of the most advanced algorithms and systems for autonomous vehicle software.”

One of the primary goals of autonomous racing today is to advance technology that drives the commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles as well as the deployment of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Designed by university teams, these enhancements will lead to increased safety and higher performance levels in motorsports as well as all modes of commercial transportation.

Furthermore, the competition provides a platform for students to excel in STEM domains and inspire the next generation of innovators. The Las Vegas event is set to witness the participation of 19 universities from eight countries divided into nine teams.

CES is the most influential tech event in the world – the proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators.

This is where the world’s biggest brands do business and meet new partners, and the sharpest innovators hit the stage. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), CES features every aspect of the tech sector.

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