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2024 American Control Conference Self-Driving Car Student Competition

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Award Overview

We welcome all engineering faculty to encourage their students to participate in the Self-Driving Car Student Competition during the American Control Conference in Toronto, July 10 – 12, 2024.

The competition provides an excellent opportunity for students from around the globe to acquire leading-edge knowledge and develop critical problem-solving skills while also attracting and nurturing next-gen researchers. 

Self-Driving Challenge

The organizing committee has configured the self-driving challenge to highlight critical Control Systems concepts that will focus on real-time decisions feedback control systems that will result in faster and more precise driving performance. The tasks include but are not limited to:

  • Time to complete the path (circuit)
  • Accuracy of driving
  • Timely reactions to stop signs and traffic lights
  • Avoidance of obstacles

Learn more about the challenge via the video.

Application Stages

  • 1Stage 1 : Virtual Design & Submission

    Each team will be given a virtual environment compatible with the on-site demonstration; each team will have access to a virtual representation of vehicle models provided by Quanser. A list of tasks will be provided for each team to work on their designs and to test and verify their solutions. Each team will submit their conceptual plan at the end of this Phase.  

  • 2Stage 2 : Algorithm Validation on physical vehicles

    After judging the outcomes of Stage 1, a short list of 6-8 qualifying teams will be sent a physical QCar, allowing them to transfer their code from the virtual environment to the physical self-driving car and provide the opportunity for algorithm validation and refinement before the in-person competition.

  • 3Stage 3 : On-site demonstration and competition

    the shortlisted teams will be invited to attend ACC 2024 in Toronto and participate in the on-site competition.

Award Package for winning team

  • QCar – The feature vehicle of Quanser’s Self-Driving Car Studio
  • QLabs Virtual QCar – 1-year subscription of digital twin virtual environment
  • $2,000 cash prize (divided between student team-members)
  • Golden QCar Trophy

Important dates:

  • Registration: Until February 29, 2024
  • Stage 1: Until April 30, 2024
  • Stage 2: Until June 30th, 2024
  • Stage 3: Competition details and guidance will be released in the first week of July 2024

Take a look at FAQ before you contact us!

   Q: Is having a faculty member or professor on the team mandatory? A: We suggest having a supervising professor on the competition team who may help coordinate resources and orchestrate progress.
   Q: What is the maximum number of members in the competition team? A: We do not have a specific limit on the number of people on each participating team, and team composition is based on the best combination that will accomplish the task. Based on the 2023 competition’s experience, a team has an average of 5 members.
   Q: Do we need to provide details of all team members? A: Yes, we will email the supervising professor to follow up.
   Q: How do you ensure that teams are updated with timely information? A: First, we strongly recommend nominating a Team Captain, and we will contact your Team Captain via email. Secondly, please connect with us through LinkedIn, where you can find the most updated information on the competition.
   Q: How can I get in touch if I need advice on technical issues? A: Please email your specific requirement to A dedicated Quanser engineer team will review and reply. 
   Q: Is there a fee for the teams to join the competition? A: Registration and participation in the competition are complimentary. Teams advancing beyond Stage 1 will be responsible for their travel expenses and ACC conference registration during Stage 3 on-site competition in Toronto.
   Q: Do all team members need to attend Stage 3 in Toronto if they qualify? A: We understand that some team members may have visa issues to travel to Toronto. A possible solution is to let some team members join Stage 3 remotely while others go to the live event in Toronto.


Channel to contact Competition Advisory Team: 

If you want to share this competition information with your faculty members or students, feel free to download this flyer

Professors, please register here:

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