The Aggie Autonomous Auto team (A3) finished second overall and first in the nation in Year 2 of Autodrive Challenge across North America

The Aggie Autonomous Auto team (A3) finished second overall and first in the country in Year 2 of Autodrive Challenge competition across North America, organized by SAE International and General Motors. In the second year of the three, the College of Engineering's A3 team competed from May 29th to June 4th, against 7 other North American teams in demonstrating their effectiveness in transforming a Chevy Bolt into a capable autonomous vehicle.

The AutoDrive Challenge is a three-year challenge to develop and demonstrate a fully autonomous passenger vehicle. The technical goal of this 3-year challenge is to leverage the autonomy level of the car to navigate an urban driving course in an automated driving mode. Through this competition, GM provided NC A&T team with a Chevrolet Bolt EV as the vehicle platform. Strategic partners and suppliers such as Intel provided the team the vehicle parts and software.

In addition to the second place in overall ranking, the North Carolina A&T College of Engineering’s A3 Autodrive team was placed 2nd in the following dynamic challenges: Traffic Control Sign; Intersection Challenge; Mcity Challenge; and placed 3rd in the Pedestrian Challenge The team was also placed 3rd in the Mapping Challenge and Cost Effective Design Challenge.

The objective of the second year of Autodrive competition was to drive the cars on urban environment with static and dynamic objects, autonomously passing through intersections, reacting to pedestrian, bikes, and traffic signs. The competition was held at Mcity, a one-of-a-kind urban test facility that provides a broad range of complexities that vehicles encounter in urban and suburban driving environments.

Initiatives like the Autodrive Challenge test the limits of research and innovation for an autonomous future. While discussing the achievements of Nc A&T team at GM Autodrive Challenge, Dr. Karimoddini, the lead faculty advisor of A3 stated, “Many graduate students and undergrads are solving real practical problems in developing autonomous cars. There are many unsolved problems, which if solved, the performance of autonomous cars can be significantly improved in terms of affordability and reliability."

Karreem Hogan, PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering at N.C. A&T and co-captain of the A3 team adds, "This is an impressive show of what students can do given the opportunity. You’re talking about students coming together with very limited resources and budgets. Some of our team members are brand new and quickly ramped up to get to a competition, taking a regular car, outfitting it with sensors and building their own algorithms and software from scratch. Th A3 car innovations were all hand built. Not outsourced. The coding, fingerprints, all done by the students of North Carolina A&T's College of Engineering…."

About the A3 team

The Aggiees’ Autonomous Auto (A3) team from College of Engineering represents the NC A&T University in the Autodrive competition. More than 70 undergraduate and graduate students are involved in this project with different backgrounds and disciplines in 9 groups, including “Image Processing and Learning,” “Software Architecture and Functional Safety Analysis,” “Sensor Integration,” “CPU/FPGA,” “Control and Dynamics,” “Mechanical Design,” “Social Responsibility,” and “Social Media and Outreach.” For Year 2 of this competition, the team capitan was Sai Charan Dekkata, PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering, and co-capitan was Karreem Hogan, PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering. The team is advised by a multidisciplinary team of faculty advisors including Dr. Ali Karimoddini, Dr. Daniel Limbrick, and Dr. Corey Graves from Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Dr. Sun Yi and Mr. Daniel Acree from Mechanical Engineering Departments, Dr. Allison K. Sullivan and Dr. Kaushik Roy from Computer Science Department, and Dr. Younho Seong from Industrial Engineering at the College of Engineering (COE) as well as Dr. Leila Hashemi Beni from Built Environment Department in College of Technology that all have a strong record of conducting relevant multidisciplinary research in the area of autonomous systems. The team also has been supported by TECHLAV and CATM Centers at NC A&T University. (To keep up with the progresses are being made under this project, check out the A3 page on Facebook and on the A3 website.)

About the Autodrive Challenge

Throughout the AutoDrive Challenge, students and faculty will be invited to attend technology specific workshops to help them in their concept refinement and overall autonomous technical understanding. The competition consists of 8 teams from select universities that were invited to participate in the inaugural competition.

GM provided each team with a Chevrolet Bolt EV as the vehicle platform. Strategic partners and supplied students in their technology development by providing integration pieces and software. Throughout the AutoDrive Challenge competition cycle, students and faculty will be invited to attend technology-specific workshops to help them in their concept refinement and overall autonomous technical understanding.

About General Motors

General Motors Co. and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at

About SAE International

SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting over 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.