The University of Hawaii will take part in a driverless car race in Las Vegas

HONOLULU (KHON2) – The University of Hawaii will once again make history by competing in the world’s first-ever self-driving car racing competition, scheduled for Friday, January 7.

The standalone challenge at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will be held in Las Vegas, and UH AI Racing Tech is one of nine teams looking to claim victory.

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At the Autonomous Challenge, teams from eight countries representing 19 universities will compete in a single-elimination contest where the winner will take home over $200,000.

But what is autonomous car racing? Well, it’s when the driver is replaced by a variety of sensors that act as the vehicle’s eyes and ears, meaning the driver drives the car remotely.

The car is assisted by a powerful computer which helps to make the many path planning, tactical and strategic decisions needed to deliver the vehicle’s maximum performance.

The system is an example of artificial intelligence, which requires engineers to create algorithms to program the car to generate human behaviors and interpret complex sensor data.

UH AI Racing Tech Team Principal Gary Passon said that in this next race their team will be able to race another car in real time, which they have not yet done.

“It’s the first event and the first stand-alone event that I think every one of us knows where we’re going to meet head-to-head,” he said, “so two cars will come out at the same time and in order, they will try to overtake each other.

Passon said they will have to pass the other car several times during the race. He said their team would start the competition individually for the seeding and then it would be a single elimination to determine the winner.

“We were thrilled to be able to finish the Indianapolis version of the IAC competition in 6th place. It was a very important result for us, but with which we believe we can do more.

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The race is scheduled to be streamed live on the CES Autonomous Challenge website and Twitch streaming app @IndyAChallenge at 10 a.m. (HST) on January 7.

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