Abu Dhabi Hosts Inaugural A2RL Autonomous Racing Championship.

Live stream the thrilling races at Yas Marina Circuit.
A2RL Explained - Extreme Engineering On Track

A fresh form of motorsport is emerging, where humans are not required to drive the vehicles. The Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League (A2RL) is precisely that – autonomous racing taking place at the Yas Marina Circuit in front of a crowd of 10,000 and being broadcast live on the internet.

After extensive development, A2RL is now prepared for its inaugural race at the renowned Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. Set for April 27th, A2RL aims to revolutionize not just the world of motorsport, but also the perception of autonomous driving for the better.

A2RL has assembled groups of technicians, researchers, and former Formula One driver Daniil Kvyat to transform an advanced race car into an autonomous vehicle. The teams, originating from various countries including the UAE, China, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States, all begin with the same foundation: a chassis built by Dallara, equipped with a 550-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine from Honda connected to a six-speed gearbox. Drawing inspiration from the 185 mph vehicles in Japan’s Super Formula series, now renamed EVA24, these eight teams have a platform to innovate from.

In the place where one would typically see a driver wearing fireproof attire and a strong helmet, AR2L vehicles are equipped with a wide range of technology: GPS, cameras, sensors, computers, and more. The effectiveness of this technology and how skillfully it has been programmed can determine the outcome of a competition. These cameras will also enable viewers to have a close-up look at the race, providing 360-degree views from the driver’s perspective.

The inaugural A2RL race features two competitions. Daniil Kvyat will be competing against a completely AI-driven vehicle to determine if human or machine is the swifter. Following this, the primary event will commence: eight teams, following extensive testing, simulations, broken carbon fiber, and countless cups of coffee, will battle it out to determine which has made the greatest advancements in autonomous driving technology.

After that, the real competition kicks off: on Saturday, April 27th, a variety of races and challenges will take place where autonomous vehicles will compete against each other. The ultimate race will feature four cars racing simultaneously – a global premiere – vying for a prize pool of $2.25 million.

An event centered around racing would not be complete without a fan zone. Opening at 5:00 PM on-site, the Fanzone will welcome all attendees. Inside, guests can partake in karting, Gran Turismo race simulators, remote-controlled cars, food trucks, an interactive AI museum, and other activities. Additionally, the A2RL STEM competition final will take place, showcasing young race fans utilizing their coding skills to demonstrate their abilities with 1:8 scale A2RL racing cars.

The rationale behind A2RL? Safety, teamwork, and technological progress. Throughout history, motorsport has been a key driver in technological advancement, and now it’s the turn of race cars to take on the challenge of autonomy.

Originating from the ASPIRE team, which is part of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council, A2RL is tasking groups with developing a vehicle capable of operating and achieving victory autonomously. Once the race begins, the cars will be solely responsible for completing the competition without any human intervention. The only method to alter their trajectory is to remotely stop them; there are no concealed drivers manipulating the vehicle. Everything relies on technology.

The goal is two-fold. Firstly, to present an exciting spectacle for fans. Increased involvement in motorsport is always positive. Secondly, to advance technology that could be implemented in future passenger vehicles. The knowledge gained will be applicable and contribute to innovative safety features that enhance road safety for drivers. Ultimately, this may result in self-driving cars.

Starting with this inaugural event, A2RL is planning to develop an international race schedule and aims to attract enthusiastic spectators both in person and online.

Tune in to the live stream of the race here or visit a2rl.io for additional details.

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