ASPIRE. the program development arm of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), has launched the world’s largest autonomous racing league.
The league will kick off with the autonomous car race set to happen in Q2 of 2024 and will take place at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
The organisers said the autonomous car race will be the first in a series of autonomous vehicle races.
With a prize pool of up to USD 2.25 million, the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Car Race will feature the Dallara-built Super Formula cars, the usage of which has been enabled by Japan Race Promotion, Inc. (JRP). The Super Formula cars are the fastest in the world, outside of Formula One, and they will be adequately equipped for autonomous racing.
A core goal of the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League is to push the boundaries of autonomous mobility by hosting challenges to advance R&D in autonomous racing and artificial intelligence (AI). Additionally, the applied research executed in preparation for the League will develop cutting-edge and low-risk solutions to significantly reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions through the increased efficiency, while at the same time increasing safety and performance standards of motorsports and commercial transportation.
JRP will enable ASPIRE to leverage one of the world’s most advanced racing cars in order to push the limits and high speeds of autonomous driving by providing the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League with exclusive access to the Dallara Super Formula car. Key members of JRP will also share their significant expertise in race management accumulated for over 50 years since 1973.
Race viewers will be invited to dive into a new world of entertainment, experiencing the thrill of head-to-head autonomous car racing, with live updates from Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) infographics and real-time displays shown on screen.
“Abu Dhabi is a rising hub for STEM empowerment and envisioning a decarbonised economy, which is why we are proud to launch the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League. Autonomous racing is continuing to gather steam, given its significant potential to disrupt the future of transportation and mobility,” says His Excellency, Faisal Al Bannai, secretary general, Advanced Technology Research Council.
“We are proud to announce the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League, where we will set new benchmarks for autonomous vehicles and help them pre-empt and prepare for unknown challenges as they become more mainstream. In addition to creating a community platform for motorsports fans, the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League will feature an open development model, supporting faster progress, faster testing, and greater innovation. Machine learning and reinforcement learning will be key to collecting data and developing the technology of these vehicles.”
Yoshihisa Ueno, president, Japan Race Promotion, Inc. added: “In Japan, we are proud of our pioneering heritage in both motor racing and advanced technology. As Japan’s premier racing series, SUPER FORMULA, we are delighted to partner with ASPIRE for the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League to see racing and technology come further together. Since 1973, we’ve accumulated over 50 years of expertise, and always operated at the forefront of racing. Our SF23 race car, which will be used in the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League, is a huge leap forward in technical performance and, importantly, carbon neutrality, so it’s very exciting to see it being driven by an autonomous technology stack. This partnership with ASPIRE is yet another example of our ambition and we cannot wait for the first race.”
Andrea Pontremoli, CEO of Dallara, said: “For over 50 years, the Dallara name and motor racing have been in lockstep. We have designed and manufactured some of the most important racing cars in the sport, forever pushing the boundaries of what has been possible. To continue that journey, and in line with our vision to design and build the fastest and safest cars in the world, we are so excited to partner with ASPIRE to shape the future of mobility. The Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League will set the pace and drive new levels of performance, safety, efficiency, and importantly, sustainability, in autonomous technologies. Watch this space.”
The Autonomous Car Race will be the first among a series of autonomous vehicle races in the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League launching in 2024, which will include autonomous offroad racing, autonomous drone racing, and more. This will make Abu Dubai and the United Arab Emirates the world capital for extreme autonomous racing. Open to all teams from previous autonomous racing challenges, teams from universities around the world, public and private research institutes, will be welcome to participate.