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Snapshot of the UH AI Racing Tech car ahead of the challenger’s car, courtesy of the live broadcast.

The University of Hawaiʻi‘s autonomous race car team finished in third place at the Autonomous Challenge @ CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in what one team member described as a “rollercoaster” competition on January 7 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

See replay of live broadcast courtesy of Indy Autonomous Challenge

Among nine teams that were invited to the challenge, six participated in time trials, including UH AI Racing Tech. The team finished sixth in time trials and was set to race against the third seed TII EuroRacing in the quarterfinals. However, UH AI Racing Tech encountered an intermittent mechanical issue. The organizers automatically advanced TII EuroRacing into the semifinals, but, prior to its semifinal race, TII EuroRacing faced an issue of its own.

people standing in front of a car
The UH AI Racing Tech team being introduced on the Indy Autonomous Challenge live broadcast on January 7.

Since UH AI Racing Tech was able to overcome its mechanical issue, according to race bylaws, organizers modified the schedule and bracket, and UH AI Racing Tech was able to race for third place against MITPITTRW, which defeated KAIST in the quarterfinals.

In its match against MITPITTRW, UH AI Racing Tech made several passes at speeds of more than 125 mph, while MITPITTRW was unable to make its pass at 135 mph, giving UH AI Racing Tech the victory.

This was UH AI Racing Tech’s second consecutive appearance at the Autonomous Challenge @ CES. The team was coming off of a second place finish at the Indy Autonomous Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 11, 2022.

Related: Nation’s top driverless car racing team preps for international competition, January 5, 2023

“We took second place in November…and I think there were some questions as to whether we really were the better team. Today really proved that we do have the strength to come out here and absolutely crush it,” C.K. Wolfe, UH AI Racing Tech member and UC Berkeley graduate student, said on the live broadcast.

UH AI Racing Tech is a collaboration among UH Maui College, UH Mānoa’s College of Engineering, UC San Diego, Carnegie Mellon University and UC Berkeley.

PoliMOVE out of Italy defended its Autonomous Challenge @ CES title, winning the inaugural event in 2022.

Read more about UH AI Racing Tech’s preparations ahead of the Las Vegas competition at this UH News story.

—By Marc Arakaki

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