(OTTAWA): A team from the Carleton University, the Carleton Autonomous Rovers, has won the first-ever Unmanned Ground Vehicle Competition – #UGV19 – organized by Unmanned Systems Canada/Systèmes Télécommandés Canada (USC-STC). They received not only accolades, but a cash prize of $2,000.

The event took place May 25-26, at the new Ottawa L5 Facility, North America’s first integrated test environment for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV). Two teams were involved, with the second-place team a joint effort between students from the University of Ottawa and Carleton. It took home $1,000.

The winning entry, a creation of Carleton's Autonomous Rovers, pushes "snow" during #UGV19

A scale-model snowplow, created by the Carleton Autonomous Rovers Team, pushes “snow” during the #UGV19, USC-STC’s first-ever Unmanned Ground Vehicle competition.  Photo by Martin Smith.

The challenge involved building and programming scale-model autonomous snowplows capable of detecting and avoiding obstacles on a test track, clearing “snow,” and using other intelligent technologies. Such competitions and research help contribute toward the eventual use of autonomous, intelligent and efficient unmanned vehicles on our roadways.

“Autonomous passenger vehicles get a lot of publicity, but there’s an exponential growth in autonomous non-passenger vehicles such as snowplows,” says Barrie Kirk, a director with USC-STC and a key organizer of the event. “These students, from both teams, are well-positioned for employment in this dynamic field.”

A joint University of Ottawa/Carleton Team works on “Hot Wheels” – which placed second. (Photo by Martin Smith.)

Although USC-STC has now organized 11 competitions involving Unmanned Aerial Systems, this is the first involving Unmanned Ground Vehicles. The contest had generous sponsorship support from Transport Canada, which contributed $50,000 through its Program to Advance Connectivity and Automation in the Transportation System (ACATS).

“Transport Canada was pleased to be involved with this inaugural Unmanned Ground Vehicle Competition and witness the teamwork and ingenuity of the competitors,” says Jim Lothrop, Director General of the Transport Canada Innovation Centre. “Autonomous vehicles will offer many potential benefits in Canada’s connected transportation system of the future – including improved safety.”

The vehicles in the competition had to use sense-and-avoid and other smart technologies to carry out set tasks.

(Photo by Martin Smith.)

Both the event itself, and the sponsorship, are signals of the important role unmanned and connected vehicles are starting to play.

“This was a tremendous ‘first,’” says Glenn Martin, Executive Director of Unmanned Systems Canada. “Our first UGV competition, the first major event at the L5 facility, and what I hope is the first of many Unmanned Ground Vehicle competitions to come as this exciting industry continues to accelerate.”

The judges took things very seriously, scoring on a number of preset criteria. (Photo by Martin Smith.)

The event pushed the ingenuity of team members on multiple fronts: In coding, mechatronics, artificial intelligence and more.

Don’t miss #UC19Ottawa – Canada’s largest industry gathering of professionals and researchers from the world of autonomous, intelligent vehicles built for air, earth or water. Coming to Ottawa October 30.

ABOUT USC-STC: (USC-STC) is a Canadian-registered, not-for-profit association founded in 2003 by a small group of entrepreneurs and visionaries committed to representing the interests of Canada’s unmanned vehicle systems community. It has since grown to include students, academia, industry and investors across the aerial, ground and marine unmanned sectors.

MEDIA: For a downloadable .pdf of this release, click here

Contact? Scott Simmie @ 416-705-9100 or via [email protected]

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