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Thread: Autonomous FSAE?

  1. #1

    Autonomous FSAE?

    Some people won't like what follows but hey you won't make omelets without braking eggs...

    SAE created the FSAE many years ago. Then many other competitions were also organized with more or less success - most often more. Formula Student Germany created Formula Student Electric and other organization followed. SAE became a follower.

    Now Germany and, I think, China do organize an autonomous Formula Student competition, which does make perfect sense as it where the automotive industry is going.

    How come this competition "Removing bumps on the path to fully automated driving"
    http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/sae/...tV2ZZIn0%3D#/4
    is not integrate in a series of international competition that counts close to 1000 universities in the world?

    In the interest of the students as well as and the US and global automotive industry what does it take for SAE for make FSAE great again?
    Claude Rouelle
    OptimumG president
    Vehicle Dynamics & Race Car Engineering
    Training / Consulting / Simulation Software
    FS & FSAE design judge USA / Canada / UK / Germany / Spain / Italy / China / Brazil / Australia
    [url]www.optimumg.com[/u

  2. #2
    I have to agree here. Irregardless of how AutoDrive, the SAE comp, is run. it's an invite-only event.
    The end result is there are only eight teams registered, compared to 15 at FSG with two on the waiting list (5 withdrawn)
    From this page: http://students.sae.org/cds/autodrive/event/

    This newly established, three-year autonomous vehicle competition will task students to develop and demonstrate a full autonomous driving passenger vehicle. The technical goal of the competition is to navigate an urban driving course in an automated driving mode as described by SAE Standard (J3016) level 4 definition by year three.
    The competition will consist of up to 10 teams from select universities that were invited to participate in the inaugural competition. These foundational teams will be announced April 2017. The first of three yearly competitions will take place the following spring 2018.
    Is it too much to expect teams to come up with an autonomous concept in a year or so? We'll see next August. But the idea of a 3-year cycle is questionable.
    I'd say 95% of team members last less than three years. Plus how happy will universities be if the team has nothing to show after a year? Two? It's hardly ideal for students either - You join the Formula team and hopefully see your design work in about a year's time.
    With this, it's uncertain, and the feedback loop from crap design to crap performance is a lot longer, meaning students will learn less and the competition will always be behind FSG.

    edit:
    Also, what's wrong with racecars, and where are teams supposed to test a road car, in a realistic situation, where it won't launch into the nearest fence or wall?
    Last edited by tim_pattinson; 07-06-2017 at 06:52 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    In my opinion a three year cycle cannot make sense for any Student competition. It's the essence of FSAE that every Team member experiences the entire cycle from the early concept Phase until the testing and Evaluation with the actual car. A three year cycle will mean that most of the students of the beginning won't be able to participate at the actual competition. How should that motivate anyone?

    I can't understand why you would organise such a competition as an invite-only Event. If there is a motivated Team at any University they should come and present their efforts...
    Rennteam Uni Stuttgart
    2008: Seat and Bodywork
    2009: Team captain

    GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart
    2010: Seat and Bodywork / Lamination whore

    Formula Student Austria
    2012: Operative Team

  4. #4

    Building bridges or building walls?

    I do agree with Bemo; the competition should be as open, as international and as less exclusive as possible
    Claude Rouelle
    OptimumG president
    Vehicle Dynamics & Race Car Engineering
    Training / Consulting / Simulation Software
    FS & FSAE design judge USA / Canada / UK / Germany / Spain / Italy / China / Brazil / Australia
    [url]www.optimumg.com[/u

  5. #5
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    Claude,
    I looked briefly at the SAE/GM event and it doesn't seem anything like FSAE (except that cars are involved). The 8 teams are given Chevy Bolt electric cars and their task is to turn them into self driving cars. Since GM is giving away cars, it makes sense to me to have some initial vetting--so their investment isn't wasted on a team of dreamers that don't have the resources to make useful progress.
    Again, I didn't study the rules in detail, but this looks like a software contest, with integration of purchased sensors. Nothing like the sequence of engineering analysis, mechanical design, build, test & correlate in FSAE. Do you have other reasons to compare this to FSAE/FStudent?
    -- Doug

  6. #6
    I hope and assume SAE does not see the GM autodrive as a replacement for Autonomous FSAE in the US. My hope is that FSAE will create an Autonomous competition in the US within the next 2 years so we don't have a repeat of the massive catchup that American electric teams are still clawing back.

    -Noah

  7. #7
    My point is not to criticize GM action that has merit. My point is that such action could have been initiated long time ago on larger scale as part or FSAE / Formula Student competitions in the US.

    Just a question of choice leadership because I can tell you that in term of money, the money is there.

    Maybe it is time for a Formula Student USA of the students, by the students, for the students. With the support of universities and companies.

    Claude

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by noah View Post
    My hope is that FSAE will create an Autonomous competition in the US within the next 2 years so we don't have a repeat of the massive catchup that American electric teams are still clawing back. -Noah
    Maybe I'm dumb, but I don't see the connection between racing and self-driving cars, a few thoughts:

    + At the local/amateur level, racing is about mastering a machine. This can be addictive and certainly very satisfying for the driver and friends that make up the team. FSAE adds in the challenge of creating the machine, with the reward of engineering/project-management experience and the fun of driving the car.

    + At the pro level, racing is a sport/spectacle for fans and a big TV audience, with sponsorship primarily by corporate marketing (some car companies also use racing as training for new engineers). For engineers in racing, it's a high pressure job with huge time commitment, which can be rewarding (or can cause early burnout).

    + After watching some of the early trials for the first DARPA Grand Challenge, I have no further interest in spectating at a race between self-driving cars (or watching this on TV).

    + If you are interested in self-driving cars as an engineering challenge, there are already many types of "battle bots", and perhaps these will become more autonomous as time goes on? (I don't follow these events closely.)

    + Cutting through all the hype, self-driving cars are some kind of cross between a cheaper taxi/Uber and faster public transportation. The more expensive projects that I know about focus on a smooth ride, so the passengers can work/read without getting motion sickness. Boring as watching paint dry (as long as they don't fail!)

    Where do racing and self-driving cars intersect?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DougMilliken View Post
    Maybe I'm dumb, but I don't see the connection between racing and self-driving cars, a few thoughts:

    + At the local/amateur level, racing is about mastering a machine. This can be addictive and certainly very satisfying for the driver and friends that make up the team. FSAE adds in the challenge of creating the machine, with the reward of engineering/project-management experience and the fun of driving the car.

    + At the pro level, racing is a sport/spectacle for fans and a big TV audience, with sponsorship primarily by corporate marketing (some car companies also use racing as training for new engineers). For engineers in racing, it's a high pressure job with huge time commitment, which can be rewarding (or can cause early burnout).

    + After watching some of the early trials for the first DARPA Grand Challenge, I have no further interest in spectating at a race between self-driving cars (or watching this on TV).

    + If you are interested in self-driving cars as an engineering challenge, there are already many types of "battle bots", and perhaps these will become more autonomous as time goes on? (I don't follow these events closely.)

    + Cutting through all the hype, self-driving cars are some kind of cross between a cheaper taxi/Uber and faster public transportation. The more expensive projects that I know about focus on a smooth ride, so the passengers can work/read without getting motion sickness. Boring as watching paint dry (as long as they don't fail!)

    Where do racing and self-driving cars intersect?
    Doug,

    The longer I participate in FSAE, the more it becomes apparent that less and less of the students involved are participating for the motorsports aspect. I am in the minority, but the majority of the team has no intention to work in motorsports or possibly automotive in general. The vast majority of the students these days have joined FSAE as an engineering competition, not a motorsports or automotive competition. They know that many employers value FSAE over everything else when it comes to hiring choices.
    Say my team has roughly 60 active members. 3, maybe 5 tops want to work in racing, myself included. 20-30 want to work anywhere in automotive sector. The remaining 25 or so don't care whether they work in automotive or aerospace or kitchen appliances. For the 55 members of my team who are in it for a job, one of the largest growing sectors for them to join is the self driving sector, and a FSAE competition will give them the fast paced environment they need to be prepared for the industry. Plus the University will love it and it will make my job a hell of a lot easier to find companies willing to support our teams so I can get the funds I need to keep our driven cars racing.
    Last edited by noah; 07-07-2017 at 02:22 PM.
    Noah
    Student

  10. #10
    Also,

    You need to remember that nobody is going to spectate an FSAE event for the pure racing action. As much as I love seeing the cars go round, I love to see it because of my involvement in it and background knowledge of my team and the teams we are facing and the challenge and engineering rational each car is based on. Watching driverless cars go around will be exactly the same. please take a minute to watch this video AMZ just put out: https://www.facebook.com/amzracing/v...5033171416107/
    If seeing that car go around that fast doesn't make you at least a little excited, then I am sorry. A driverless car can also hypothetically go faster than a driver ever could, especially with some of these crazy 4wd torque vectored monsters from Europe. My guess is the ai can take advantage of the turning ability in ways a human never could. https://www.facebook.com/amzracing/v...5033171416107/
    Noah
    Student

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