Self-driving vehicles turn the Institute into a competitive racing venue
In 2019, the EMEA finals of the NXP Cup were once again hosted by Fraunhofer IIS. The Cup is an international competition staged by semiconductor manufacturer NXP in which students receive cutting-edge technology for self-driving vehicles and then spend four months assembling, programming and testing their cars before pitting them against each other on an undisclosed race track at Fraunhofer IIS. A total of 19 teams from eleven different countries made it into the final round, turning the Institute into a competitive racing venue for two days.
For most of the students, participating in the event was a leisure activity pursued alongside their studies. »The great thing about the NXP Cup is connecting and competing with other people in Europe – it’s fantastic that so many people are here. That’s very important to us, as we’ve been working on this project all year,« said the winning team ARCAR1 from the Haute Ecole ARC Ingénierie in Le Locle, Switzerland.
Second and third places in the race for self-driving intelligent cars went to the teams ARCAR2 (also from Switzerland) and KAW4Wheels, from Cracow, Poland. The two Czech teams, VAXNA from Rožnov pod Radhoštěm and SlowFox MUNI Corp from Brno received awards for the »most innovative« vehicles.
This year’s event included three short race tracks posing new challenges to the teams: obstacle avoidance (steering round a cube in the middle of the track), speed limit (slowing down at certain points), and figure of 8 (completing as many laps of a track in the shape of an 8 as possible in 90 seconds). »This year was not just about speed, but also about precise driving performance,« said Flavio Stiffan of Stiffan Consulting, part of the project management team that helped semiconductor manufacturer NXP organize the EMEA competition. »The greatest challenge was the lighting conditions. The students had to work very hard to calibrate their camera systems.«