Universities are breeding grounds for innovative thought and cutting edge research with the equipment needed to do some amazing things. GM is hoping to take advantage of that by challenging eight schools to design and build autonomous Chevy Bolt EVs.
Participating schools consists of Michigan Tech, Virginia Tech, the University of Toronto, Texas A&M, the University of Waterloo, Kettering University, the University of Michigan, and North Carolina A&T.
The teams from each respective school has three years to outfit a standard Chevy Bolt EV with the necessary hardware and software to take on the final test of driving around an urban driving course autonomously. They won’t be doing this alone as GM will be supplying the Bolt EV, and partners and suppliers will lend a helping hand by providing vehicle parts and software.
Each of the three years in this challenge has its own milestones the teams must meet.
According to GM’s press release, the first year is focused on creating a paper concept sketch, familiarizing themselves with the sensing and computation software and getting the Bolt to drive down a straight road whilst avoiding obstacles.
Second year will test the vehicles on multiple lane changes and dynamic object detection. Third year will be the culmination of their hard work as the final autonomous Bolt EVs will have to navigate around a complex course with higher speeds, turnabouts and moving object detection.
Of course Chevy will still be working on their own version of the autonomous Bolt in the meantime.