ASPIRE’s Autonomous Racing League to hold inaugural race in April 2024


A new Autonomous Racing League ran by Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) have confirmed the inaugural race will take place on April 28 2024.

ASPIRE, the driving force behind the revolutionary event, revealed a model of the first ever Dallara Super Formula, SF23, earlier in 2023 which sees a car sense its own environment and operate without human involvement.

The race will take place at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, home of Formula 1‘s season-finale since 2014.

“At the intersection of science, sports, and technology, autonomy is set to revolutionize the future of transportation,” said H.E. Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of ATRC, ASPIRE’s parent entity.

“The Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League, A2RL, stands as a testament to Abu Dhabi’s growing reputation as an international research and development (R&D) hub and a premier test bed for trialling proof-of-concept autonomous solutions.

“By bringing together scientists, developers, and coding gurus from around the world within an extreme sports arena, we are actively stress-testing capabilities on the racetracks, for safety on our roads”.

The 10 competing teams and the car

A first-of-its-kind for the region, A2RL integrates artificial intelligence (AI), autonomy, and extreme sports to push the boundaries of future mobility. The event is being spotlighted as the largest autonomous racing league in the world, showcasing autonomous car races, drone races, and dune buggy races.

The inaugural car race will offer a glimpse into the future of AI and an introduction to a new era of extreme sports entertainment.

Ten elite teams from universities and research institutions across the world have confirmed their participation in the autonomous car race and will vie for a prize purse of $2.25 million.

  • Beijing Institute of Technology and Khalifa University (China and UAE)
  • Code19 Racing and Indiana University (USA)
  • Constructor Group (Switzerland & Singapore)
  • Hungarian Mobility Development Agency (Hungary)
  • Kinetiz & Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
  • Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
  • Technical University of Munich (Germany)
  • Technology Innovation Institute (UAE)
  • University of California, Berkeley and University of Hawaii (USA)
  • University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy)

The car is manufactured from sustainable bio-composite materials, weighs 690 kgs, and is currently the fastest open-wheel race car in the world after F1, reaching maximum speeds of 300 km/h.

It boasts advanced braking capabilities, a custom-built autonomous stack, as well as drive-by-wire throttle control. The 10 teams will have the opportunity to adapt their software algorithms on this cutting-edge vehicle in order to outperform the competition.

Visitors to GITEX Global can catch a sneak peek of the autonomous model at the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) stand – B10 in Hall 17 at the Dubai World Trade Center during the five days of the event.

“We’re delighted to bring an autonomous racing event to Abu Dhabi and showcase it to the world through A2RL,” said Dr. Tom McCarthy, Executive Director at ASPIRE.

“This initiative is not just redefining mobility’s future, but it’s also inspiring a new generation to reimagine and innovate for a brighter future in a thrilling, international-scale race. By equipping competitive teams with the newly adapted Dallara SF23 cars, complete with an autonomy stack, we’re ensuring a level playing field.

“The focus isn’t on the driver’s skill now; it’s about the technology, programming, and machine learning algorithms that allow these vehicles to navigate intricate racetracks at breakneck speeds.”


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