On April 27, ASPIRE will launch the first edition of the "Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League that will redefine the future of extreme sports.

25 April 2024

Abu Dhabi will host a groundbreaking event on Saturday, April 27, welcoming 10,000 spectators to witness the inaugural ASPIRE Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League ( A2RL ) at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit. This latest standalone competition represents a milestone in the history of motorsports and promises to be the most important championship of its kind globally.

Eight teams will compete: Code19 Racing (one of the first independent autonomous racing entities from the United States), Constructor University (based in Germany and Switzerland), Fly Eagle (representing China's Beijing Institute of Technology and the Emirates' Khalifa University United Arab Emirates), HUMDA Lab (member of the Széchenyi István University Group of Hungary), KINETIZ (a collaboration between the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore and the United Arab Emirates-based Kintsugi), PoliMOVE (representing the Politecnico di Milano, the 'Italy), UNIMORE (also Italian - University of Modena and Reggio Emilia) and the Technical University of Munich - TUM (of Germany), all vying to win the substantial prize money of 2.25 million dollars.

Participating teams of coders and engineers will have exclusive access to identical Dallara Super Formula SF23 cars, thanks to a partnership with Japan Race Promotions. These cars will be autonomous with autonomous racing stacks developed and integrated by the Technology Innovation Institute (TII). The only variable lies in how each team will use their coding skills, AI algorithms, and experience developing machine learning software to teach their cars how to drive. Currently recognized as the world's fastest open-wheel racing cars after Formula One, these cars can reach speeds of up to 300 km/h.

An AI-versus-human car race will also take place, with the Technology Innovation Institute (Tll) taking on a thrilling race between their autonomous car and former F1 driver Daniil Kvyat. Tll will try to get as close to the human lap time as possible and will also demonstrate the autonomous car's ability to drive without GPS assistance.

HE Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of the Advanced Technology Research Council - ASPIRE, parent entity of ASPIRE and Advisor to the President of the UAE on Strategic Research and Advanced Technology Affairs, said: “Pushing the boundaries of technology in extreme conditions , we discover new frontiers of science. This new racing paradigm leverages the pinnacle of coding skills, AI algorithms and software development prowess - the skills of the future. By leveraging these capabilities, we pave a cutting-edge path in research and development, pushing Abu Dhabi to become a global innovation hub.”

ADNOC is participating as a title sponsor, providing key support and underscoring widespread enthusiasm for the advancement of autonomous racing technology. HE Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technologies and Group MD & CEO of ADNOC, added: “As we navigate the UAE's industrial future, our commitment to the country's value and advancement technological is unshakable. A2RL embodies our dedication to integrating cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence, to drive competitiveness and economic growth across all industries.” For decades, ADNOC has invested in the latest technologies and innovations -from the control room to the boardroom - to deliver the modern energy that powers our lives.”

Stephane Timpano, CEO of ASPIRE, organizer of A2RL, said: “A2RL is more than just a race: it is a platform for testing and optimizing autonomous vehicle technologies, improving safety and reliability on public roads. With the support of local and international partners, we are bringing the future of mobility closer." The inaugural race attracted a number of different sponsors, each contributing their expertise and resources to ensure the successful development of the cutting-edge autonomous cars. Prominent partners, such as Du, DMT, AWS and Mubadala, played an integral role in shaping the trajectory of the event, while media partners such as Motorsports, Inc. Arabia, FastCompany Middle East and What's On, who amplified the visibility of A2RL.

Technical partners, including Dallara, Danisi Engineering, Meccanica 42, Kistler, Seyond, Eventagrate, Live in Five, Focal Point VR and Vislink, lent their specialist knowledge to raise the event's standards of innovation and performance.

An exclusive Fan Zone promises an excellent experience for families, motorsports fans and technology enthusiasts. With tailor-made activities, guests will be able to immerse themselves in cutting-edge technologies and games, including a captivating VR zone and the Raceum artificial intelligence museum. From 4pm (GST) on 27 April, young students in the A2RL STEM Competition will showcase their coding skills on 1:8 scale autonomous race cars, with 18 schools competing to create even more engagement. The evening will conclude at 11pm (GST), with events including a winners' awards ceremony, fireworks, a drone show and an after-show concert with DJ Andre Soueid.

For those who cannot be there in person, the emotions of race day will be perceptible on the various live streaming channels, including the official A2RL website, the YouTube and Twitch channels , motorsport.tv and the A2RL app. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the A2RL website and monitor social media channels for updates regarding the schedule and race viewing details in their respective regions.

The inaugural A2RL event is part of Abu Dhabi Mobility Week, running from 24 April to 1 May.

The original text of this announcement, written in the source language, is the official version that is authentic. Translations are offered solely for the reader's convenience and must refer to the original language text, which is the only legally valid one.

Jennifer Dewan, Senior Communications Manager
[email protected]