Previous Editions

The Autonomous Driving Challenge was first held in 2017, as the first public challenge on autonomous driving in Spain. Over 50 students from 7 Spanish universities around the country participated during the Smart City Expo in Barcelona, which was attended by over 18 thousand people. 

Students also attended a workshop given by an expert team from TU Berlin, including Raúl Rojas, a leading European researcher and lecturer in autonomous driving technologies, and Alberto Sanfeliu, the Scientific Director of IRI (UPC-CSIC). 

The projects were tried out in the final challenge. After a first day of tests and calibrations, this challenge involved a two-day competition to assess the students’ skills. A panel comprised of SEAT representatives, UPC experts in robotics, prominent figures in the industry and professionals were responsible for choosing the best three projects.

The second edition of the Autonomous Driving Challenge was held in 2018 at the event #Imperdible_03 in Madrid. This expo is organized and sponsored every year by COTEC, a private foundation whose mission is to promote innovation in Spain. The competition lasted two days and included many lectures and workshops about robotics and programming.


a. Training session 1

The selected teams will receive a simulator specially developed for this competition. It reproduces the real platform, its sensors and the pathways. Simulators are able to provide the teams with practical feedback when designing the needed real world systems. This allows to determine the correctness and efficiency of a configuration before the system is actually tested. CARNET will provide students with a very clear and comprehensive look into the subject, so they can start programming the algorithms for the autonomous driving.

b. Training session 2

The groups will receive the model car and will be guided through the hardware and software specifications, so they can test the developed algorithms in the physical platform. The goal is to explain in depth the operation, test the behaviour and motion of the platform with help and supervision of experts, so skills are strengthened and teams can work independently in the future.

c. Follow-up and deliverables

Participants in the challenge will have to perform evaluable tasks during the period between the training sessions and the final event to prove their knowledge and advancement in the design and test of the autonomous driving functions. CARNET will be open for questions and will provide mentoring and guidance as needed throughout the project.

The Final Event

This is when students get to prove that their vehicles can drive autonomously.

The final event will give students the chance to demonstrate their knowledge and efforts. They will test their cars in different scenarios, linked to the requirements of a real environment. All teams will meet again and showcase the results of the extremely complex work that they have completed.

The vehicles are expected to pass a set of challenges on a course specifically constructed for the event. The cars must overcome challenges that are yet to be defined, which will include navigating the course, avoiding obstacles, reacting to traffic lights and parking.

The track is inspired by the ever-changing urban scenario of Barcelona. The challenges will include features such as superblocks, pedestrian zones and streets with low speed limits. 

The overall winner will then be determined by calculating the total number of points earned in all disciplines. The detailed evaluation method is explained in the Rulebook.

Finally, to spice it up, the final competition will take place during a leading international event on mobility.