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SAE and GM’s AutoDrive Challenge™ Crowns a Year 3 Winning Team

Posted: Friday, November 20, 2020

The third year of SAE International and General Motors' AutoDrive Challenge™ competition looked a bit different from the two preceding years. While circumstances forced the competition to move to a fully virtual delivery, the eight universities remained steadfast in their goal of developing an SAE Standard J3016™ Level 4 autonomous vehicle (AV), capable of navigating an urban driving course.

Following four rigorous days of competition, the University of Toronto was crowned the AutoDrive Challenge Year 3 winner, amassing a total of 895.00 team points. From September 28-October 1, 2020, teams presented virtually to a panel of industry volunteers who scored the competition based on a series of presentations, written reports and a dynamic validation of system testing. 

Allison Hostetler, director of pre-professional education at SAE International, offered her congratulations to the winning team from the University of Toronto and noted the flexibility of all the teams as well as event organizers: “I can’t applaud everyone enough for being nimble as we worked through multiple contingency plans as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Year 3 winning team from the University of Toronto, along with all of the competing universities, demonstrated that even in a virtual world, technological innovations, teamwork and product development can continue to drive mobility’s future.”

“While this year’s competition looked different than years past, the level of creativity, ingenuity and innovation displayed by participating teams remained impressive,” said Kevin Dietrich, program leader for autonomous collegiate competition at General Motors. “Congratulations to all participants on their fantastic work ethic and sense of purpose – they should all be very proud of their work.”

Tobïas Sunner, the executive director of the Canadian Technical Centre at GM Canada, added: “Congratulations to all the teams on this incredible three-year journey to push the envelope on innovation with their creativity, dedication and collaboration. We look forward to engaging with our university partners across Canada on similar initiatives in the years to come, as we help GM reach its vision of a future with Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions and Zero Congestion.”

What’s Next?
This first series of the AutoDrive Challenge will conclude in 2021 with Year 4 of the competition taking place at Mcity, a 32-acre mock city and proving ground built for the testing of wirelessly connected and driver-less cars located on the University of Michigan North Campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. All teams will reset to 0 points and teams have the ability to compete for 1,000 points. Following the completion of Year 4, a cumulative winner will be announced based on the team with the highest point total.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) is a global company committed to delivering safer, better and more sustainable ways for people to get around. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Holden, Baojun and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, can be found at

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