Six student teams are competing in this year’s fifth edition of the Self Driving Challenge. In this five-month project to create algorithms for a self-driving vehicle. The competition is organized by the National Road Transport Agency (RDW). 


The Self Driving Challenge offers young talent the chance to develop in the field of smart mobility. It is a competition in which student teams compete against each other by racing self-driving vehicles around a circuit. The teams come from the University of Groningen, Hanzehogeschool, Windesheim, University of Twente, Hogeschool Rotterdam and Haagse Hogeschool.

Three electric karts will be equipped with all the necessary hardware and software to develop an autonomous driving system. The students will connect to this with their software to actually implement the autonomy. The team that races a self-driving vehicle around the track flawlessly in the shortest time is the winner of the challenge.


The challenge officially started on Feb. 8, 2023, in Lelystad. There the students could get acquainted with the kart. They could also experience what it is like to drive an electric car at a speed of over 200 km/h on the test track. The final race will be held on June 8 at the TT circuit in Assen.

Hardware is fixed

Data scientist Joël Koster explains that the hardware of the karts is fixed. “We provide the hardware for the karts, the teams are not allowed to modify it because we only have three karts and have to be able to change quickly.”

According to Koster, the goal of the Self Driving Challenge is to learn as much as possible about autonomous driving. “We welcome teams inventing new ways to drive the kart themselves. The more innovative, the better. If everyone does the same thing, we won’t learn anything.”

© Image RDW

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