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Winter City qualifying races held at NAMI practice ground

Source: RIA Novosti

Unmanned vehicle qualification tests in winter and extreme conditions were held at the NAMI Testing Center practice ground.

The competitions were organized by RVC, the Skolkovo Foundation and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives in the framework of Up Great Winter City Technology Competition. The competition is held in order to implement the National Technology Initiative.

Thirteen teams from all over Russia take part in Winter City qualification tests: technology companies in the field of robotics and machine vision, as well as developers of leading Russian universities. The participating teams perform a series of 8 assignments that imitate the real traffic situation that may occur in winter in a megapolis: traffic jams, poor markings, low visibility of road signs, ice, traffic at unregulated intersections and snow drifts. The qualifying stage assignments include an avoidance of unexpectedly occurring obstacles (including with the participation of other vehicles) and parking in winter. The conditions of the real urban environment are imitated at NAMI near Dmitrov town: pedestrian and other car traffic, as well as road works are recreated.

“Participants do not compete with each other, but overcome a barrier. Everyone who overcomes it will become winners,” Deputy Director General of RVC Mikhail Antonov told reporters.

According to Vyacheslav Gershov, Director of the Department for the Development and Promotion of Technological Competitions and Initiatives of the Skolkovo Foundation, each team is given three attempts to complete the task. Those teams that complete at least 4 of the 8 tasks will reach the finals.

Denis Zagarin, Head of the NAMI Testing Center, noted that the practice ground had been preparing for this contest for almost a year, and the decision to create a test site for unmanned vehicles was made 4 years ago, “it will become a point of entry into the future,” he stressed. According to Zagarin, the unmanned vehicles technology is now at a very young stage, and the tests are still taking place at the practice ground, which can be called a “kindergarten” for unmanned vehicles. However, very soon, Zagarin is sure, Russian unmanned vehicles will be able to travel along NAMI’s entire 115-kilometer-long practice ground.

Up Great qualification tests will end on March 5, 2019. The teams that will complete at least half of the tasks successfully will reach the finals. The final tests of the competition will be held in December 2019. The winner will be the team whose unmanned vehicle will be able to overcome the technological barrier, to drive 50 km on winter roads in less than three hours, while respecting the traffic rules. The prize fund of the competition is 175 million rubles.

Up Great technological contests are initiated by RVC, the Skolkovo Foundation and ASI for Russian innovative companies as part of the implementation of the National Technology Initiative. Participants are invited to find solutions to the most complex technological challenges that have not yet been solved in the world. The winning team, which overcomes the global technological barrier, receives a large cash prize for the demonstration of a clear and repeatable completion of the competitive task before the experts, the jury and the general public. The competitions mechanics is developed in accordance with the best practices of the global technology competitions: XPrize, Darpa Grand Challenge, etc. The operator of the Up Great Technology competitions is RVC.

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