International Universities Compete in Self-Driving Car Competition at the American Control Conference Sponsored by Quanser

Quanser fosters innovation in autonomous vehicle technology as 53 students from 11 universities in 8 countries compete to demonstrate progress

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AACC–In its quest to foster innovation in autonomous vehicle technology, Quanser is hosting the Self-Driving Car Student Competition taking place today at the 2024 American Control Conference (ACC) at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. The competition has attracted some of the greatest minds and next generation researchers from world-leading universities that have self-driving car programs underway.

The competition kicked off earlier this year with 39 global teams from 28 universities participating in a virtual design and submission stage. This was followed by algorithm validation using physical vehicles provided by Quanser, with the top 11 teams selected to compete on-site at the ACC in Toronto today.

The competition aims to enhance the practical understanding and application of control systems, sensor fusion, and real-time decision-making, each of which is critical in the development of faster and more precise driving performance in autonomous vehicles. The competition will also evaluate the progress of self-driving car programs underway at universities around the world and encourage others to engage in this field.

Students participating in the races (from 10:00am – 11:30am) must complete several challenges in minimal time, while ensuring accuracy in driving, obeying the laws of the road, and avoiding obstacles. The championship and award ceremony takes place from 12:30 – 1:30pm.

Competing University


Team Name

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly)


CalPoly Zoomers

University of the Incarnate Word



King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

Saudi Arabia


Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Madras)**



York University



Kyungpook National University

South Korea


Kettering University**



University of Seoul

South Korea


National Polytechnic University of Armenia



Czech Technical University in Prague



Beijing University of Technology**



With over 35 years dedicated to academia, Quanser has become the world leader in the design and development of cutting-edge solutions that transform engineering education and accelerate research in control systems, robotics, and applied artificial intelligence (AI). The company has over 2500 labs in universities around the world.

Winning teams will receive a free QCar and a one-year subscription to QLabs Virtual QCar, valued at $30,000. The winning team will also receive a $2,000 Amazon gift card and the Golden QCar Trophy.

“I am incredibly proud to support the next generation of innovators through the Self-Driving Car Student Competition at the American Control Conference,” said Dr. Jacob Apkarian, founder and CTO of Quanser. “This competition not only showcases the remarkable talent and creativity of students worldwide but also underscores the importance of hands-on learning and real-world problem-solving in advancing autonomous vehicle technology. At Quanser, we believe in the power of education to drive technological advancements, and this event perfectly embodies that vision.”

“I am thrilled to witness the ingenuity and dedication of students participating in the Self-Driving Car Student Competition at the American Control Conference,” said Paul Karam, Chief Robotics Officer at Quanser. “This event provides a unique platform for young engineers to tackle real-world challenges, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in autonomous vehicle technology. Quanser is committed to fostering innovation and education, and this competition highlights our dedication to developing the leaders of tomorrow in the field of robotics and control systems.”

“The Quanser sponsored self-driving car student competition happening at the 2024 ACC in Toronto has drawn international student teams to participate,” said Hugh Liu, Professor, UTIAS and Director, Centre for Aerial Robotics Research and Education (CARRE) at the University of Toronto. “53 students from 11 universities are finalists in the competition and will showcase their talents, creative concepts, and innovative approaches in the most exciting autonomous control domain. I applaud Quanser’s initiatives to bring this event to the community. The representative students also demonstrate the diversity, equity, and inclusiveness that the IEEE Control Systems Society is advocating. I look forward to the continuous and sustainable success of the competitions in the future.”

About the American Controls Conference

The American Controls Conference (ACC) has been the premier international conference for Control systems research for over 50 years. It is the annual conference of the American Automatic Control Council (AACC), the U.S. national member organization of the International Federation for Automatic Control (IFAC). The event features a comprehensive technical program with regular and invited sessions, tutorial and special sessions, workshops, and exhibits. Topics include AI and automation, showcasing the latest innovations and research. The conference aims to foster inclusivity and diversity, providing a platform for scholars and professionals to share their work and ideas.

About Quanser

Quanser is a Canadian company that is at the forefront of advancing technologies in self-driving cars, drones, and artificial intelligence (AI). The company’s educational and research platforms provide students and researchers with the tools to explore and develop autonomous systems. For self-driving cars, Quanser offers simulation environments and hardware that mimic real-world driving conditions, facilitating the study of vehicle dynamics and control algorithms. In the realm of drones, Quanser’s solutions enable the testing of flight control systems and autonomous navigation. Additionally, Quanser’s AI-driven platforms support machine learning and artificial intelligence research, integrating seamlessly with their control systems for real-world applications.

**Team qualified for the finals but was not able to make the trip to compete in person.

Note to Media:

Media are invited to attend the 2024 American Control Conference today at the Westin Harbour Castle, Regatta Room, to watch the races in progress (10:00am – 11:30am EDT) and get a first-hand look at the innovative technology used in the development and testing of autonomous vehicles. Media can also attend the championship and award ceremony (12:30pm – 1:30pm EDT).


Lisa Ballard

Boulevard Public Relations (for Quanser)

Tuhin Das

Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

University of Central Florida (for ACC)

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