Aggie Autonomous Auto Team Places Second in National Competition

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 17, 2019) –  The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Aggie Autonomous Auto team (A3) finished second overall and first in the country in this year's SAE Autodrive Challenge national competition. Now in the second year of the three-year competition, the College of Engineering's A3 team competed against seven North American teams including Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Michigan State University, Michigan Technical University, Texas A&M University, University of Waterloo and Ketterling University, each transforming a Chevy Volt into a functional autonomous vehicle.

In this year's competition, the car's ability to navigate urban environment driving scenarios in the presence of static and dynamic objects was tested and scored at "Mcity", a one-of-a-kind urban test facility located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Our A3 team consists of graduate students and undergrads solving the practical problems identified in their subgroups. Those problems range from affordability, to performance in inclement weather to comfort," said Dr. Ali Karimoddini, electrical and computer engineering associate professor.

Initiatives like the Autodrive Challenge test the limits of research and innovation for an autonomous future.

"This is an impressive show of what students can do (when) given the opportunity. You’re talking about students coming together with very limited resources and budgets. Some of our team members are brand new and quickly ramped up to get to a competition, taking a regular car, outfitting it with sensors and building their own algorithms and software from scratch,” said Kareem Hogan, electrical engineering Ph.D. candidate and A3 team co-captain. “The A3 car innovations were all hand built. Not outsourced. The coding and fingerprints were all done by students of N.C. A&T.”