Aspire reveals plans for autonomous racing league in Abu Dhabi

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Alongside its aim of building an R&D hub in Abu Dhabi, Aspire has unveiled plans to launch what it claims will be the world’s largest autonomous racing league. The first autonomous race is scheduled to be held in Q2 of 2024.

Scheduled to take place at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the autonomous car race will be the first in a series of races. The Abu Dhabi autonomous car race will feature the Dallara-built Super Formula cars, whose usage has been enabled by Japan Race Promotion (JRP).

The Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League aims to advance autonomous mobility by hosting challenges to accelerate R&D in autonomous racing and artificial intelligence (AI). Furthermore, the applied research executed ahead of the League starting will develop state-of-the-art and low-risk solutions to reduce fuel consumption and carbon by increasing efficiency while additionally enhancing the safety and performance standards of motorsports and commercial transportation.

The autonomous car race will be the first of several autonomous vehicle races in the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League which is set to launch in 2024. The series will also include autonomous off-road racing and autonomous drone racing, amongst others.

The series will be open to all teams from previous autonomous racing challenges, university teams and public and private research institutes. Entrants will compete for a prize pool of up to U$2.25m.

“Abu Dhabi is a rising hub for STEM empowerment and envisioning a decarbonized economy, which is why we are proud to launch the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League,” said Faisal Al Bannai, secretary general, Advanced Technology Research Council. “Autonomous racing is continuing to gather steam, given its significant potential to disrupt the future of transportation and mobility. 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.”

“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,” said Yoshihisa Ueno, president, Japan Race Promotion. “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.”

“We have designed and manufactured some of the most important racing cars in the sport, forever pushing the boundaries of what has been possible,” explained Andrea Pontremoli, CEO of Dallara. “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.”

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKi Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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