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A New Era Begins: The 2024 Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League (A2RL) Unveiled

a2rl abu dhabi autonomous racing league 2024 series review
Image via Instagram @autonomousracingleague

Last night, we witnessed a historic moment with the inaugural round of the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League (A2RL). This new series features teams, predominantly backed by leading universities and technology partners, competing in modern open-wheel racing cars—operated entirely without human intervention.

As this series is quite new, I will take this opportunity to provide a quick run-down of the cars, the teams, and the on-board sensors and technology that the teams will utilise in their software development.

A2RL Series Racing Cars

The series features Dallara built Super Formula Cars, supported by Japan Racing Promotion (JRP), utilising the SF23 chassis and drive-line as their foundation. The A2RL racing cars are equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder Honda engine, a six-speed gearbox, and slick racing tires. These vehicles are capable of reaching speeds up to 300 km/h and producing 550 brake horsepower.

A2RL Series Teams

  • Fly Eagle (China & UAE), supported by Khalifa University and the Beijing Institute of Technology.
  • Kinetiz (UAE and Singapore), associated with Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
  • Code 19 Racing (USA).
  • Constructor AI (Germany), associated with the University of Bremen.
  • TUM (Germany), from the Technical University of Munich.
  • Humada Lab (Hungary), from Szechenyi Istvan University.
  • Polimove Autonomous Racing Team (Italy), from Politecnico di Milano.
  • Unimore (Italy), from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.

A2RL Series Technology

The cars in the autonomous racing league use a sophisticated array of sensors and on-board computing systems to navigate the track autonomously. Here are the key components:


  • GPS: Dual antenna GPS systems for precise localisation.
  • Radar: These sensors emit electromagnetic waves to detect obstacles by measuring the time it takes for the waves to bounce back.
  • Lidar: This technology uses laser light to create a high-frequency, dynamic 3D picture of the car’s surroundings.
  • Cameras: A total of seven cameras (six at the front and one at the back) enable a feature called “camera lock,” helping the car detect other vehicles to manage overtaking or being overtaken scenarios.

Onboard Computer

  • The computer acts as the ‘brain’ of the vehicle, equipped with a high-end GPU. It processes all sensor data to understand the car’s current situation and makes decisions accordingly.
  • Teams are provided with an “empty” computer on which they develop and upload their own autonomous driving software, competing based on their coding capabilities.

These technologies together allow the autonomous vehicles to perceive their environment, make decisions, and navigate the racetrack without human intervention.

The Series Also Aims to Enhance Understanding and Engagement

The A2RL showcases cutting-edge technology while fostering global collaboration and skill development through partnerships with leading universities. This series provides a unique glimpse into the future of mobility, emphasising innovation, education, and the transformative potential of AI in the transportation sector. By engaging the public through community events and educational outreach, the A2RL is dedicated to advancing both the technology and societal understanding of autonomous vehicles.

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