First Unmanned Traffic Jam and 60 Minutes to Win: the Results of the Up Great “Winter City” contest have been summed up


In the suburbs of Moscow, the final tests of the technology competition Up Great “Winter City” completed. StarLine team from St. Petersburg showed the best result during the first Russian mass drone race in winter conditions. The car was able to overcome the most difficult city route of 50 km in just 4 hours — taking into account the accrued penalty minutes for traffic violations.

Up Great technology competition “Winter City” is held by RVC, the Skolkovo Foundation, and ASI and is aimed at finding breakthrough solutions in the field of uncrewed vehicles. The task of the competition is to create and demonstrate an unmanned vehicle capable of moving around the city in the conditions of the Russian winter at the level of an average driver.

The competition received more than thirty applications from various teams from all over Russia. In the final mass, Five teams took part: NSTU (Nizhny Novgorod), StarLine (St. Petersburg), Auto-RTK (Taganrog, Kursk), Winter City MADI (Moscow) and BaseTracK (Moscow). At the test site, the conditions of a real urban environment are simulated: the movements of pedestrians and other cars were recreated, traffic lights were installed, regulated and unregulated intersections, a railway crossing, and a tunnel were simulated.

During the tests, the teams went to the start twice: the first race was interrupted due to congestion that arose on the highway as a result of a stop on the lane of one of the participants. After the second attempt, the StarLine team managed to reach the end of the competition route. The drone covered a distance of 50 km in 2 hours and 47 minutes. However, another 73 penalty minutes were added to the final result for violations of traffic rules, the most frequent of which was driving against a red traffic light. According to the conditions of the “Winter City”, in order to overcome the technological barrier, the total travel time of the route should not have exceeded 3 hours.

Alexander Povalko, General Director of RVC
The contest participants have not yet been able to overcome the technological barrier. But they managed to solve a much more critical problem — to create in Russia a professional community of engineers and developers in the field of uncrewed vehicles. Winter City has shown that there are dozens of teams in our country that can compete with the global leaders in the machine vision market. It is equally important that during the preparation of the contest, a unique test infrastructure was created, which will become an excellent base for the further development of uncrewed vehicles in Russia.
Dmitry Peskov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on Digital and Technological Development
Large players will buy all teams that participate in the competition, either create their own companies or will be developing. Some groups have already received offers in the global market. One of them begins testing its technology in Japan next year. Therefore, they will go to the world market and fight there. Two hundred engineers who participate in the competition are the country's strategic wealth, its most important reserve for the future. Our task is that they can be implemented within Russia.
Kirill Kay, Senior Vice President, Innovation, Skolkovo Foundation
Uncrewed vehicles — a promising mode of transport, which will reduce the number of traffic jams in megacities in the future and significantly reduce the time required to travel around the city. The human body is not perfect. Fatigue, illness, and other situational factors affect the reaction rate, which becomes a common cause of traffic accidents. Thanks to uncrewed vehicles, in the long run, the "human factor" will have less impact on the accident rate. Adapting uncrewed vehicles to the conditions of the Russian winter is both a challenge and an important task, which, as we see, today's contestants have successfully overcome. I wish them not to rest on what has been achieved in improving their developments. The Skolkovo Foundation, in turn, is ready to support such projects and help them in their development.

The final of the competition was organized in partnership with MosTransProekt, which prepared a digital map and a system for monitoring the movement of vehicles of finalists at the training ground.

Alexander Polyakov, Director of MosTransProekt
Creating accurate electronic maps of the area is one of the most critical conditions for the appearance of drones in our daily lives because to move a car in a city, the location of absolutely all static objects must be known in advance. This is the only way the drone can fully concentrate on traffic and pedestrians. We are glad that the StarLine team managed to achieve such a result, and we hope that this also happened thanks to our map

The partners of the final also became the Vokord company, which developed complexes for controlling the speed and pass of pedestrians. The Centre provided the work of the identification system for suppressing radio signals at the landfill for Digital Control Technologies of the Institute of Information Systems of the GUU.


About Up Great Technology Contests

RVC initiated up Great technology contests together with the Skolkovo Foundation and ASI for innovative Russian companies as part of the National Technology Initiative. Participants are invited to find solutions to the most complex technological problems, which in the world so far have no answers. The winning team that overcomes the global technical barrier receives a large cash prize for demonstrating a precise and repeatable solution to the competition task to experts, the jury, and the public. Competition mechanics are developed in accordance with the best practices of world technological competitions: XPrize, Darpa Grand Challenge, etc. The operator of the Up Great technology contests is RVC.

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