Two students from the PUCPR Polytechnic School have won the [email protected], an international competition for autonomous vehicles and Artificial Intelligence solutions promoted by the Bavarian Center for Applied Research and Technology with Latin America (AWARE) by our German partner Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI)
The winning team has been formed by Bruno José Souza, a grad student from the Graduate Program in Production and Systems Engineering (PPGEPS), and Lucas Correa de Assis, an undergrad student from the Control and Automation Engineering Program. PUCPR has continuously developed, trained, and integrated different artificial intelligence algorithms to compose the final solution presented in the competition.
The PUCPR team was the only Brazilian one to compete with teams from Germany and Finland. For the prize, both students won a trip to Germany where they will have the chance to present their project at the Conference that will report all the results from the competition. Besides, both Bruno and Lucas will have the opportunity to participate in an exchange program at the THI.
The challenge proposed in this edition of [email protected] involved developing an application to make vehicles more intelligent to navigate autonomously and safely. Students at PUCPR developed simulation software, which can be used in self-driving cars, scooters, and drones. Through computer vision, natural language processing, and speed and direction controllers, the vehicle using this software can detect objects and pedestrians on the highway, stay in the lane, and respond to voice commands.
According to Lucas, their project began to be developed remotely around May of this year. During weekly meetings, the two students debated with the adviser about the strategies and programming of the software and developing features. “The strategy for us to test in a controlled environment was to use the AirSim simulator, which allows us to simulate a city with people and vehicles.”
Bruno believes that the international experiences at the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI), which comprises both winning an award and take on the exchange program, will contribute a lot to his life’s academic, personal, and professional areas. “We will continue to improve our software and, as soon as the pandemic ends, we will go to Germany. It will be a huge opportunity for us to show our project and to learn from Germans that work in this field.”
Professor Roberto Zanetti Freire, the student’s project advisor, highlights the importance of integration between undergraduate and graduate students for the development of new technologies: “these competitions motivate and provide visibility for our students internationally, creating many opportunities for their careers.”
AWARE is a research cooperation network of the Technical University of Ingolstadt, which provides Master’s scholarships to international students, bringing job opportunities in automotive engineering in Germany. PUCPR has been working along with THI, focusing on the double degree of Grad students, to expand the School’s internationalization initiatives.