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 / Class 2 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. Provisional dates for the 2020 competition are Wednesday 22 July to Sunday 26 July 2020 inclusive and it will be returning to Silverstone, the home of the F1 British Grand Prix. The date is likely to be confirmed by the end of December 2019.
How much does it cost to enter?
The competition entry fee for 2020 is £1,000 + VAT for both ADS and DDT classes and includes places for up to x15 team members to attend the Silverstone event (additional passes can be purchased closer to the event).
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 2020 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 email@example.com 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.
Why should we take part in the UK competition?
- We are the longest-running Formula Student competition in Europe, now in its 22nd year
- The competition is owned and operated by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the largest professional engineering institution in the world with over 120,000 members worldwide
- The UK competition takes place at the historic Silverstone circuit, a current F1 Grand Prix venue, with cars running on the same track
- As one of the first events in the European events calendar, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get some early testing, feedback and, hopefully, silverware
- Our Judges and Scrutineers have a wealth of experience in industry that can help you not only during the competition but in your careers
- Our sponsors include some of the top engineering employers in the UK and the world and they acknowledge that Formula Student graduates are some of the best engineers available to employ
- We are the most International competition with representation from the largest number of different countries. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive and open competition whilst remaining competitive
- The organising committee are motivated to help as many engineering students as possible to experience and benefit from everything Formula Student has to offer the next generation of professional engineers
- Because racecar. Seriously!