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UAE’s ASPIRE Redefines Extreme Autonomous Sports: A2RL Unveils ‘Autonomous’ Dallara Super Formula Car at GITEX Global 2023


ASPIRE, the driving force behind grand challenges and global competitions for Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), today announced details of its highly anticipated Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League, A2RL, on the first day of GITEX Global – the world’s premier technology event. A2RL unveiled a model of the first ever autonomized Dallara Super Formula, SF23, released earlier this year. This cutting-edge marvel, capable of sensing its environment and operating without human involvement, is set to transform racing with a monumental inaugural race scheduled for 28 April 2024, at the iconic Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit.

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Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League - 28th April 2024 - (Photo - AETOSWire)

A first-of-its-kind for the region, A2RL integrates artificial intelligence (AI), autonomy, and extreme sports to push the boundaries of future mobility. The event is being spotlighted as the largest autonomous racing league in the world, showcasing autonomous car races, drone races, and dune buggy races.

H.E. Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of ATRC, ASPIRE’s parent entity, said: “At the intersection of science, sports, and technology, autonomy is set to revolutionize the future of transportation. The Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League, A2RL, stands as a testament to Abu Dhabi’s growing reputation as an international research and development (R&D) hub and a premier test bed for trialling proof-of-concept autonomous solutions. By bringing together scientists, developers, and coding gurus from around the world within an extreme sports arena, we are actively stress-testing capabilities on the racetracks, for safety on our roads”.

The inaugural race day (car race) will offer a glimpse into the future of AI - a thrilling mix of virtual and real-life experiences, and an introduction to a new era of extreme sports entertainment.

Ten elite teams from universities and research institutions internationally have confirmed their participation in the autonomous car race and will vie for a prize purse of US $2.25 million. The teams will compete from: Beijing Institute of Technology and Khalifa University (China and UAE); Code19 Racing and Indiana University (USA); Constructor Group (Switzerland & Singapore); Hungarian Mobility Development Agency (Hungary); Kinetiz & Nanyang Technological University (Singapore); Politecnico di Milano (Italy); Technical University of Munich (Germany); Technology Innovation Institute (UAE); University of California, Berkeley and University of Hawaii (USA); University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy).

Participating teams will each have exclusive access to a brand new Dallara Super Formula SF23 car, which has been autonomized specifically for A2RL. The car is manufactured from sustainable bio-composite materials, weighs 690 kgs, and is currently the fastest open-wheel race car in the world after Formula One, reaching maximum speeds of 300 km/h. It boasts advanced braking capabilities, a custom-built autonomous stack, as well as drive-by-wire throttle control. The 10 teams will have the opportunity to adapt their software algorithms on this cutting-edge vehicle in order to outperform the competition. Visitors to GITEX Global can catch a sneak peek of the autonomous model at the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) stand - B10 in Hall 17 at the Dubai World Trade Center during the five days of the event.

Dr. Tom McCarthy, Executive Director at ASPIRE, expressed his excitement about the initiative: "We're delighted to bring an autonomous racing event to Abu Dhabi and showcase it to the world through A2RL. This initiative is not just redefining mobility's future, but it's also inspiring a new generation to reimagine and innovate for a brighter future in a thrilling, international-scale race. By equipping competitive teams with the newly adapted Dallara SF23 cars, complete with an autonomy stack, we're ensuring a level playing field. The focus isn't on the driver's skill now; it's about the technology, programming, and machine learning algorithms that allow these vehicles to navigate intricate racetracks at breakneck speeds."

A2RL is an annual global racing circuit fixture, offering valuable opportunities for partnership and collaboration across industry and academia. The event spotlights national priority themes like pioneering transport's future, inspiring next-gen STEM talent, accelerating Abu Dhabi's knowledge economy, and ensuring a tangible impact beyond the racetrack. For more information, please visit

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