What awaits competitors at the Final Round of Digital Race 2018-2019?

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What should the finalists anticipate of this year’s Digital Race? What strategies will help bring 15 million dong prize in cash and a 400-million dong trip to America or Japan to the fastest team? Let’s find out with FPT TechInsight.

The Concept of Automatic Delivery System

The first self-driving car came out in 1939 at the World’s Car Fair, under the sponsorship of General Motors, but was mostly used for research purposes at the time. It was not until 2011 did researches regarding the self-driving car switch lanes to the realm of lifestyle improvement.

Numerous firms like Uber, Tesla… are looking into and developing automatic delivery systems using robots. In fact, Uber had acquired a car manufacturer in its preparations for replacing human drivers with robots and self-driving cars, as well as carried out various experiments on real roads in America. Tesla is on the same track with Uber in the field with its “1 million robo-taxis” campaign on the streets, where customers can book a robo-taxi with an app similar to Uber and Lyft. The major difference is that there are no drivers involved.

Self-driving delivery vehicle.

The rise of the self-driving car is definite in the near future. And to follow this trend, this year’s concept for Digital Race will be the automatic delivery system. The teams’ self-driving cars will need to make checkpoints – delivery destinations, with five checkpoints in total for the ranking round. The checkpoints will be chosen at random via a system, and most will begin or end at checkpoint no.5.

Make it double

Much like the semi-finals, there will also be challenging hurdles and checkpoints for teams to overcome in the finals. Here, the checkpoint count will be doubled, from 5 to 12, with 10 checkpoints along the track and 2 at parking points.

There will be two rounds to the final. 4 in 10 teams will be selected to advance from the first round – “Ranking”, where speed will also be taken into account. A new challenge – the tunnel – will be added in the finals to raise the difficulty level: teams will have to pass a 3-meter dark tunnel, with changing light conditions (yellow lights, differences in light intensity). Another challenge will be the bridge, at the 75-centimeter height from ground at the peak point. In “Ranking”, each team will start from the garage, and as their vehicle had completed the track, they had to program it to stop at the starting position in only 3 seconds.

The track of Digital Race’s Final round, 2018 -2019.

2 parking locations

Parking locations along the track will also be added in this year’s finals. There will be two parking locations at checkpoints 10 and 5 (track image). Only checkpoint 5 will be used in the first round, and both in the second round. The cars will need to be able to identify stop signs and park correctly.

So what does “park correctly” mean?

3 “wrong parking” include:

If one or two tires are out of the parking space, the team shall be awarded no point.

Correct parking include:

Parking similar to the above image will be awarded points.

The secret track at “knock-out”

In “Knock out”, 4 teams will be divided into 2 pairs, and final pairs will be arranged in respect to the outcomes of the matches (winner vs winner and loser with a loser). There, whoever reaches the finishing line first will be the winner. The number of delivery points will be raised to 10 from 5 in the previous rounds, and there will be additional crossroads, bridges, speeding land and one final parking location with hurdles along the track.

Teams will have to follow a specific route required by the organizers, disclosed to them right before the match. With regards to strategies, Mr. Le Ngoc Tuan – Head of IoT at FPT Technology Innovation Department and Head of Judging Board of Digital Race had shared with competing teams: “You can either employ a stable strategy and wait for your opponent to mess up, or you can dive heads in and take risks for a spectacular win.”

5 beacon points

There will be 5 beacon points in the finals, representing 5 track marks, to help the teams know their exact locations on the field. Of course, errors are unavoidable, but they shall be minor.

For the teams to be in their best conditions, packets are sent to them since the beginning of May, for them to read, change the values to meter, and later on infer readings from reference graphs. The organizers are also planning to operate testing points so that teams can practice with real gadgets.

Beacon is equipment for teams to infer the coordination of their cars.

Beacon can only do so much to help the teams, they will need to build their own coordination systems on the vehicles’ sensors to know their locations. There is a fine line between losing and winning in “knock out”, and this is where teams can play their hands, especially in determining the intersections so the car can choose the correct route. In the finals, cars will not simply go along the route, they have to make decisions at crossroads”, Mr. Tuan adds.

The aforementioned challenges will bring forth problems regarding robotic location, and the beacon is only one element in it. Mr. Le Ngoc Tuan, therefore, encourages the teams to utilize all provided gadgets for the most accurate results.

Organizers are rushing to prepare for Digital Race’s final round, with the best equipment to assist teams as well as judges. An automatic point system had been built for quick, accurate and fair decision-making, alongside with industrial batteries for the stability of on-site equipment including signal lights so viewers know the next locations for each car, location indoor system, and beacon system for indoor navigation problems.

Sensors and signal lights for the final round.
The organizer had also prepared modern equipment to support players and judges.

On May 20, 2019, two teams from Britain and Russia will arrive in Vietnam to compete in the finals with 8 Vietnam representatives throughout the country. Let’s expect the final results on May 25, 2019.

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