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12 April 2024

Abu Dhabi to host world’s largest autonomous racing league


ASPIRE, the Technology Transition Arm of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), has announced the launch of Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League.

The announcement is in line with ASPIRE's vision of building a world-class research and development (R&D) hub in Abu Dhabi.

Set to be the world’s largest autonomous racing league, activities will begin with the first autonomous car race in Q2 of 2024.

The autonomous car race will take place at Yas Marina Circuit as the first in a series of autonomous vehicle races. With a prize pool of up to over AED 8 million (US$2.25 million), the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League will feature the Dallara-built Super Formula cars, the usage of which has been enabled by Japan Racing Promotion (JRP). The Super Formula cars are the fastest in the world, outside of Formula One, and will be adequately equipped for autonomous racing.

A core goal of the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League is to push the boundaries of autonomous mobility by hosting challenges to advance R&D in autonomous racing and artificial intelligence (AI). Additionally, the applied research executed in preparation for the league will develop cutting-edge and low-risk solutions to significantly reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions through the increased efficiency, while at the same time increasing safety and performance standards of motorsports and commercial transportation.

JRP will enable ASPIRE to leverage one of the world’s most advanced racing cars in order to push the limits and high speeds of autonomous driving by providing the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League with exclusive access to the Dallara Super Formula car.

Race viewers will experience the head-to-head autonomous car racing with live updates from Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) infographics and real-time displays shown on screen.

Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary-General of ATRC, said, "We are proud to announce the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League, where we will set new benchmarks for autonomous vehicles and help them pre-empt and prepare for unknown challenges as they become more mainstream. In addition to creating a community platform for motorsports fans, the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League will feature an open development model, supporting faster progress, faster testing, and greater innovation. Machine learning and reinforcement learning will be key to collecting data and developing the technology of these vehicles.”

Yoshihisa Ueno, President of JRP, added, “As Japan's premier racing series, SUPER FORMULA, we are delighted to partner with ASPIRE for the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League to see racing and technology come further together.”

Andrea Pontremoli, CEO of Dallara, commented, “In line with our vision to design and build the fastest and safest cars in the world, we are excited to partner with ASPIRE to shape the future of mobility. The Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League will set the pace and drive new levels of performance, safety, efficiency, and importantly, sustainability, in autonomous technologies.”

The first autonomous car race will be the first among a series of autonomous vehicle races in the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League launching in 2024, which will include autonomous off-road racing, autonomous drone racing, and more.