Autoware Centers of Excellence Updates – October 2023
Welcome to the first edition of the Autoware Centers of Excellence newsletter!
As we created the Autoware Foundation Technical Steering Committee newsletter that goes out every month, we will be publishing the Autoware Centers of Excellence newsletter every month as well.
Autoware Centers of Excellence initiative grew to 22 universities and research institutions spanning three continents. We have a lot of exciting activities as a part of the Autoware CoE network that could help in understanding Autoware activities from a research perspective.
Autoware for OpenEV Platforms
The Autoware Centers of Excellence, headquartered at the University of Pennsylvania, has been working on the development of various vehicle platforms to instrument them with autonomous driving capabilities. These vehicles span from 1/10th scale F1Tenth vehicles to 1/2 scale research platforms to full-size EV logistics vehicles. The main idea is to homogenize the development of these vehicles by using virtually the same open-source software and system architecture.
Autoware Centers of Excellence continues to expand
Autoware Centers of Excellence is now at 22 universities and research institutions, spanning three continents. All the CoE member universities and research institutions use Autoware in their development platforms, which creates a great synergy between academia to work on a joint platform and great research output for Autoware.
Autoware CoE organizes exciting racing and community events across the globe!
Autonomous racing is a great instrument for university students and professors to get involved with real hands-on autonomy development. This brings much exposure to the Autoware project, and Autoware CoE is skillfully coordinating these efforts. The recent engagements are mostly based on 1/10 scale F1Tenth vehicles due to Autoware Foundation’s F1Tenth Foundation affiliation. Still, Autoware is also utilized for other racing vehicles (such as the Indy Autonomous Challenge vehicles), and Autoware CoE’s involvement in autonomous racing will only get more broadscale in the near future.
F1Tenth Competition at IROS 2023
The F1Tenth Competition at IROS 2023 was held on October 2-4. Autoware teams running the Autoware stack on the F1Tenth vehicle came in second and third place in the competition, while the undergraduate team from the University of Quebec finished the competition in first place. This was a very fun and exciting event; it has been the center of attention for the entire conference.
F1Tenth Competition in South Korea
The F1Tenth competition in South Korea was a huge event, with 31 teams included (29 of them raced) in the races. The teams joined the competition with the same reference vehicle design shared by the F1Tenth organization (as a part of UPenn’s Safety21 project), and this evolved to be a national program in South Korea. 20+ universities funded their teams, and they will continue to do so in the coming two years as well.
Po-Jen Wang joined the ROS By-the-Bay meetup in Bay Area
Po-Jen Wang, a software developer at the Autoware Foundation, joined the ROS By-the-Bay, the exclusive Bay area meetup for ROS enthusiasts.
Po-Jen’s talk was titled “AV4EV – Open-source AV software for open-standard EV platforms”. He reviewed Autoware CoE activities at Intrinsic’s office with the ROS community.
The MAD (Multi-Agent Dynamic) Games
The Autoware CoE team contributed and participated in the 1st Multi-Agent Dynamic Games workshop during the IROS 2023 conference. The main objective of the MAD Games workshop is to come up with various vehicle driving strategies to realize safety through agility. These are very adversarial games, so how to navigate intersections, roundabouts and risky situations were the main topics explored. This is a great exercise to study the state-of-art for autonomous driving technologies/methodologies.
The Yamaha EV platform is ready to roll!
Autoware CoE HQ at the University of Pennsylvania has received a Yamaha EV platform (in collaboration with eve autonomy) to develop and productize the Autoware stack for indoor-outdoor intralogistics applications. The Eve Autonomy vehicle was demonstrated (as well as the 1/10th scale F1Tenth vehicle and 1/2 scale autonomous go-kart vehicle) during the Fall 2023 GRASP Industry Day (UPenn’s annual Robotics Industry Day).
That’s it for the first Autoware Centers of Excellence newsletter. Don’t forget to come back next month with more updates.
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