AutoDrive Challenge provides a new opportunity for students
Select MSU students will have the opportunity to do cutting-edge research in a three-year design competition named the AutoDrive Challenge.
MSU was selected as one of eight universities in North America to participate in this challenge.
GM partnered with SAE World Congress Experience and SAE International and will provide each team with a Chevrolet Bolt EV as the vehicle platform.
Beginning in fall 2017, a small group of students will develop an autonomous vehicle design which will mean a fully-functioning self-driving car development.
Professor in the College of Engineering Dr. Hayder Radha has been teaching at MSU since 2000. He is involved in the AutoDrive Challenge and said GM will provide the college with the necessary materials to make the vehicle capable of autonomous design.
“AutoDrive challenge is going to be a very unique opportunity for students to learn a whole new set of skills,” Radha said. “It is really teaching them pretty advanced technology that will enable them to be ready to actually directly work as engineers in the autonomous industry.”
The AutoDrive challenge will be made up of a small group of juniors and seniors. Radha said each new year will provide a new mix of students.
“It requires a whole new set of skill sets and a new set of research for exploring a whole new idea,” Radha said. “We are literally trying to replace the human driver so that we basically try to develop a brain that substitutes the human brain in terms of recognizing that environment surrounding the vehicles and also making the right decision in that environment.”
Year one of the challenge will focus on concept selection for university teams. Teams will need to have a concept design written paper and simple missions for on-site evaluation. In year two, teams will have more challenging dynamic events for testing on-site, including dynamic object detection and multiple lane changing. Year three will be the final design and teams will navigate complex moving object detection.
Doctoral student Mohammed Al-Qizwini said he will be a leader on the team.
“The most rewarding thing is that this is a new hot topic that all the manufacturers are involved in ... it is basically giving me a hands on experience while I am still a student on a project that is very hard and good research,” Al-Qizwini said.
Doctoral student Garrick Brazil will be a member of the AutoDrive Challenge.
“I am a lot more intrigued than I am excited because there is a lot of interesting problem that will come up from that like ethical problems,” Brazil said. “It is extremely challenging and there are so many facets to think about, and so many different disciplines have to come together to make it truly work.”
He said he is excited to see what opportunities the challenge will bring for him and team members.
“My favorite part about what I am doing is how challenging it is,” Brazil said. “Every single day there is nothing easy about it and the solutions are unknown, so we're literally looking for the solutions ...when we do find something that works really well and we can explain why and theorize why it works and in fact it does, I think that is the most rewarding part.”