Formula Student



Frequently Asked Questions about the FS-AI competition.

What is FS-AI?

FS-AI challenges university teams to build and develop the driving systems to run a fully autonomous vehicle. Teams compete in a trio of static events similar to the main FS competition, Design and Business Plan Presentation but with Cost & Manufacturing replaced by a Real-World Autonomous event where teams must demonstrate their understanding and practical solutions for the integration of autonomous vehicles as a future transport solution. In addition, teams must complete a series of autonomous missions, again mirroring the main FS competition, with Acceleration, Skid Pad, Sprint Track Drive (Endurance) events. These demonstrate teams’ technical knowledge and understanding as well as the effectiveness of their autonomous driving systems.

In keeping with the main objectives of Formula Student as an educational engineering competition, the FS-AI competition provides a fantastic opportunity for the next generation of autonomous systems engineers to gain the skills and experience that are highly desired by those in industry.

What are the different FS-AI classes?

We organise two different FS-AI competition classes: Automated Driving System (ADS) and Dynamic Driving Task (DDT).

ADS: Teams compete with an autonomous car that they have developed and built completely themselves, such as previous competition entries from Starkstrom Augsburg and Team Bath Racing Electric. This is intended for experienced, multi-disciplined teams who are either developing existing FS cars to have driverless capabilities or vehicles they are building from scratch.

DDT: Teams can purchase a bespoke vehicle platform, the ADS-DV, which has been developed exclusively for the FS-AI competition. The vehicle is supplied ‘autonomous systems ready’ so that teams may select their own controller and sensors. This option removes the requirement to design and manufacture a vehicle, leaving teams free to focus on developing their software.

There is also the option to have shared use of the prototype ADS-DV which is owned by the IMechE and has a PC and sensors already supplied.

What is the ADS-DV?

ADS-DV stands for Autonomous Driving Systems – Dedicated Vehicle and is the vehicle platform that has been developed by the IMechE for teams wishing to compete in the DDT Class.

The ADS-DV allows teams with limited budgets, manpower or other resources the chance to get started with autonomous systems development and hone their skills - including teams comprised of computer science and electrical engineers.

Like the Concept Class of the Formula Student competition, DDT class provides a starting point for teams to get involved in the competition, eventually progressing to building their own vehicle from scratch in the ADS class. This fits with the ethos of Formula Student as an educational competition that should be as accessible as possible.

We are the only Formula Student competition in the world to offer student teams this platform and we look forward to seeing how teams approach the challenge.

Where can I read more about the ADS-DV?

All technical documentation on the is available via the Forms and Documents page on the Formula Student website.

How do we go about purchasing an ADS-DV?

Get in touch with us to discuss pricing and options. Funding is available from the UK Government to assist UK teams with purchasing an ADS-DV platform

Where can I find the FS-AI Rules?

All rules for the competition and key dates for document submissions are available on the Rules page of the Formula Student website.

When and where is the next competition taking place?

FS-AI takes place as part of the UK Formula Student competition.

How much does it cost to enter?

Pricing for the FS-AI competition is available on the Registration page of the Formula Student website.

Who is the competition open to?

Any team made up of those studying for a University degree qualification. This may also include those studying for foundation degrees or apprenticeships at Technical Colleges if there is a link to a University. The competition regularly sees first time entries and returning teams from across the UK as well as Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Asia and more: we welcome all teams who want to participate and excel in their chosen field of engineering.

Is there an entry process for teams to enter?

Unlike the majority of other competitions, we do not have an entry quiz and we will no longer ask for a Business Logic Case. Team selections for the UK competition are made by the organising committee following your application to enter which, starting this year, is just a simple form advising us of your performance targets for the competition year. Selected teams will be notified in January and will be asked to formally accept their place and pay their entry fee. From 2020, a place in the competition will not be guaranteed until payment is received.

We have an existing IC or EV Formula Student team, can we compete?

Of course! Existing teams that have an FS team account can ask their Faculty Advisor to set up an FS-AI team. They can assign a separate FA and will need to assign a separate Team Leader. If you have any issues with the admin of your team account, email for assistance.

Our university has never competed in Formula Student before, can we compete in FS-AI?

Yes, the competition is open to all university teams, whether they have ever competed or not. If you have specific questions about the competition READ THE RULES! If you still have questions that are not answered here or in the documentation available on the website, please email us and we would be delighted to assist.

I have a technical or rules question not listed here

No problem - please submit your question via the FSQD system to get feedback from the Formula Student committee. The team at are not engineers and will only be able to answer general or administrative questions.

Can I use your event photos for something?

All competition photos from our media team are available for download in original resolution from our Flickr account.

No matter if it's for a press release, news article, merchandise, clothing, printed material, pop up banner, websites, social media or anything else, you can download and use any photos you like.

Simply add the attribution "IMechE Formula Student" to anything you use and you're good to go!

Can I become a volunteer after graduating?

Absolutely; we are delighted to welcome you back to the competition as part of our volunteer team.

Applications usually open around the January and close by the Spring before each competition; for more please visit the volunteers section of this website and keep an eye on our social media pages for more information when applications go live.

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