Three Valeo Innovation Challenge winners announced
Team FalconView: New algorithms for better vehicle detection
Team FalconView from Peking University in China won the 1st prize and was awarded a check for €100,000. The team proposed new algorithms that use a deep understanding of the road's structure to improve how vehicles’ detect their surroundings. “By thinking about how human beings perceive a road's structure, we can make inferences about the road’s appearance and geometry,” team leader Yongkun Fang explains.
The team’s vehicle detection algorithms use cameras, which could make the detection system needed for driverless cars more practical and affordable. “The jury was very impressed by this idea,” says Devauchelle, who was on the jury. “The notion of providing extra information without any additional costs is absolutely exceptional.”
Fang and his two teammates, Jinxing Yu and Chao Wang, intend to reinvest some of the €100,000 reward in their innovative idea, with plans to purchase advanced technical tools, including a graphics processor unit (GPU) powerful enough to be used for deep-learning algorithms. “The most exciting thing about winning the Valeo Innovation Challenge is that now we can really make our idea into a reality,” Fang says.
Team M.A.D.: Improving collision warning systems
Team M.A.D. from the Sri Aurobindo International Center of Education in India tied for 2nd place and was awarded €10,000. Their proposal for a collision warning system -- built on existing satellite systems and a new dedicated mobile app -- aims to make driving safer. “A person is killed in a car accident every four minutes, so our goal was to use technology to reduce the number of car crashes,” says team leader Pranav Agarwal. Pranav and his teammate, Shubhankar Bhattacharya, spent six months working on their idea. “There were a lot of sleepless nights, and a couple of weeks of non-stop midnight testing,” Shubhankar recalls. But the final result was worth it. “We believe that implementing this idea could save lives,” Pranav says. “If we could save even one life, that would be the best reward!”
Team Auto Gen Z: Giving drivers rear-view vision
Team Auto Gen Z from Saarland University in Germany also tied for 2nd place with their proposal for a mirror-less safety windshield system. The five teammates, who hail from Russia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, were awarded a check for €10,000. Their invention provides drivers with a panoramic rear view, pictured on the top area of the windshield. This eliminates blind spots and helps drivers get a better sense of their surroundings. “We’re honored that our idea was recognized by such a distinguished jury,” says team leader Igor Vozniak. “We believe that our technology could easily be integrated into more than 1 billion cars, so we hope that in five years it will be in every car on the road!”