Finalists of the "Winter city" Up Great are determined
At "NAMI" testing area, the first in Russia testing of unmanned motor vehicles in climatic extremes was completed. The contest is organized by RVC, "Skolkovo" Fund and ISA within the framework of
Up Great "Winter City" technological contest. Based on the results of qualification, five teams that apply for the prize pool in the amount of 175 million roubles got to the final. Up Great contest are held for the purpose of implementation of the National Technology Initiative and are aimed at overcoming of the global technological barriers on the NTI perspective markets.
"Winter City" Up Great contest
was held at the testing area that belongs to "NAMI" testing centre from February 26 to March 5. 13 teams from all over Russia passed to the contest qualification stage: technological companies in the field of robotics and machine vision, as well as developers from the leading Russian universities. Seven participants passed through the technical admission procedure for safe exploitation of their motor vehicles at the testing area according to the regulation.
Each team executed a series of tasks in order to test ability of the unmanned motor vehicle to adequately react to the driving situations in adverse weather conditions with poor road marking, unclear view of the traffic signs, flooding ice and drifted snow. The participants used their individual set of technologies to equip the motor vehicle: technical vision sensors, navigation and computing systems, ultrasonic sensor and other.
Real city conditions were imitated at the testing area: Foot-passenger and other motor car movements are re-created, artificial snow making machines are set up to imitate windstorm. Qualification stage tasks include obstacle avoidance, stationary traffic, passing through signalled and non-signalled crossing, parking, etc. One of the most complicated task for the participant was left turn through traffic at the non-signalled crossing. The least problems were experienced in stationary traffic, parking, route building between the given points and foot-passengers coming to the road.
Based on the qualification, 5 teams that performed at least four of eight tasks got to the final of Up Great "Winter City" contest:
NNSTU (Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University).
AUTO-RTK (associated team of the computing system R&D bureau and "Onboard Intelligent System" company from Taganrog, SFedU and Southwestern State University).
Final contest tests will be held in December 2019. The winner will be a team which unmanned motor vehicle will be able to overcome a technological barrier — drive for 50 km on winter roads faster than in three hours, complying with the road traffic regulations. Contest prize fund is
175 million roubles.
"It is planned to provide grant support to the companies that are ready to test such motor vehicles. It will help not only to the big players, but also to small start-ups to launch on the market. The ability to provide grant financing to the projects is covered by the activity of Fund for advancement of small enterprises in the science and technical sphere. Such opportunity is aimed at reduction of the expenses incurred by the Russian developers to move unmanned motor vehicles to the public roads. And the obligatory condition to allow such motor vehicles on the public roads is evaluation of compliance with the safety requirements made by the testing laboratory", — Denis Manturov, minister of industry and trade of the Russian Federation noted.
"Winter city" is not a contest for motor vehicles, this is a contest for teams intellectual resources, the most complicated machine vision technologies, signal recognition and processing algorithms. Half of the participants coped with the task of qualification stage, but I am convinced that there are no losers in Up Great. To participate in the contest means to accept a serious challenge, not every person is able to do it. All teams demonstrated a high training level and will continue working over their technological solutions, and we will provide the necessary support to them", Aleksandr Povalko, RVC General Director noted.
"When I told to the unmanned transport experts in California that we will make a contest for unmanned motor vehicles in winter city conditions, they laughed distrustfully. Some little time passed, and we passed the half way. Qualification round is now complete. Five participants were able to perform the test tasks in the required volume and get to the final. I think that this is a perfect indicator of technological development in the field of unmanned transport in our country. Besides, "Winter City" is our first experience in holding of the contests aimed at overcoming of the global technological barriers. And this experience appeared to be positive", Kirill Kaem Senior Vice-President for Innovation of "Skolkovo" fund.
"Today, it is critical to accumulate experience in exploitation of unmanned motor vehicle in real conditions that are very often not very easy: in the cities, on winter highways. It is necessary to switch to the mode, when several thousands of motor vehicles are used on the public roads in Russia. "Winter city" contest is a part of this work. But state authorities should also join this work. State authorities should open the legal floodgates, corporations should risk, invest, search for solutions when the use of unmanned vehicles is more advantageous than the use of a car with a driver. If we attract attention of the state and business, increase investments by several times, then all-around use of the unmanned motor vehicles may become a reality", Dmitry Peskov, special representative of the President of the Russian Federation for digital and technological development said.
Up Great is the biggest in Russia in respect to the prize funds technological contests. Competition mechanics is developed based on the sample of the prestigious international contests XPrize, Darpa Grand Challenge and others. The participants are offered to find a solution for the most complicated technological tasks that have no solution in the world. The winner team that is able to overcome the global technological barrier receives a big money prize — up to 200 million roubles. — for demonstration of the understandable and reproducible solution of the contest task for the experts, jury and public. In 2018, the first three Up Great contests started: «Winter city», "First element. air" and "The first element. Land». Operator of the Up Great technological contests is RVC. Co-organizers are ISA and "Skolkovo" Fund.