Unmanned Ground Vehicle Competition!

NEWS RELEASE:  USC-STC HOLDS UNMANNED GROUND VEHICLE COMPETITION

(OTTAWA): A Canadian first – a competition involving unmanned “snowplows” – will take place May 25-26 at the newly-opened Ottawa L5 facility, North America’s first integrated test environment for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV).

Teams from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University will compete by having their scale-model snowplows clear “snow” on a set course. The vehicles must be able to detect and avoid obstacles and use other intelligent technologies in the Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) competition.

Someday, autonomous snowplows may be clearing our roads following a winter storm. This competition will challenge the future leaders in the field of autonomous vehicles, as they and their scale-model snowplows are put to the test at Canada’s new L5 facility – purpose-built for the testing of connected and autonomous vehicles.

Wikimedia Commons image by Jeroen Kransen.

The competition is organized by Unmanned Systems Canada/Systèmes Télécommandés Canada, the country’s national industry association representing vehicles and technologies that innovate by air, land and sea. Transport Canada, through its Program to Advance Connectivity and Automation in the Transportation System (ACATS), has contributed $50,000 to sponsor the competition.

“The nature of work is changing,” says Barrie Kirk, a director of Unmanned Systems Canada (USC-STC). “Our universities and colleges are training Canada’s workforce for the 2020s and beyond. “Unmanned Systems Canada is proud to give our students an opportunity to put their expertise into practice…USC is also pleased to thank Transport Canada and its ACATS program for the sponsorship of this competition.”

“Connected and automated vehicles have immense potential to enhance the accessibility, safety, and environmental performance of Canada’s transportation system,” says The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport. “To be prepared for these innovations, Canada needs to foster the development of highly skilled professionals, in order to manage the transportation systems of tomorrow. That is why Transport Canada is pleased to sponsor the Unmanned Ground Vehicle Competition through our Program to Advance Connectivity and Automation in the Transportation System. I wish all of the participants the best of luck in the competition, and look forward to seeing the results!”

Although USC-STC organizes an annual contest involving aerial vehicles, this competition is the organization’s first involving an autonomous challenge on the ground.

“The UGV student competition drives students to bring innovative solutions when their unmanned ground vehicles are tasked with specific challenges, carefully designed by experienced judges,” says Glenn Martin, Executive Director of Unmanned Systems Canada.  “Their accomplishments will be recognized by their universities and by future employers seeking cutting-edge talent.”

The field of autonomous systems has grown dramatically in recent years, especially with the near-exponential use of Unmanned Aerial Systems, known officially in Canada as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (or more commonly as “drones”). Autonomous ground vehicles are growing at a similar pace. Students working in these fields will be in great demand as these industries continue to grow and use-case scenarios expand.

WHEN: Media should arrive and register between 11:00 AM – 12 PM, Sunday May 26.

WHERE: 1740 Woodroffe, opposite Nepean Sportsplex. Competition from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

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.

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact: [email protected] or

Scott Simmie @ 416-705-9100 – [email protected]

News media can download a copy of this news release here.

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