The challenge, which has kicked off at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, offers the chance for designers to present their projects to industry experts, to improve their work under the experts' supervision and to develop prototypes at Astana Business Campus.
The contest also comes with cash prizes or a funding subscription to FabLab NU.
During the competition, participants will have to solve three problems: to develop a model of the device for the protection and cleaning of LIDAR - vehicle sensor; to develop and design a prototype of the information output and subsystem control panel (dashboard and control panel); and to develop and design an interface algorithm for editing static trajectories.
The best projects will be selected on five key criteria: presentation, competences/CV, team, cost of the solution and innovativeness of the solution.
Winners of the challenge will get access to АВС Labs and VIST robotics lab to develop the autonomous truck system on a Kamaz Neo chassis.
The expert commission reviewing the designs will select three winners this month, and two more teams will have the opportunity to work on the robotisation project for VIST and Kamaz Neo (the company will also judge the competition).
The resulting creation, a fully automated truck, should move independently using computer vision to recognise objects, people, animals and road barriers, the groups said. It should also be able to calculate a route subject in order to drive around obstacles.
The challenge fund prize is worth 500,000 tenge, or US$1,400.
"Nowadays projects like this one are being developed by major manufacturers like MAN and Volvo, as well as by large logistics companies," VIST strategy director Alexey Vladimirov noted.
"According to various estimates, the volume of commercial unmanned vehicles will amount up to $50 billion by 2022. The number of vehicles sold will reach 500,000 units during the same period.
He also added that, in the industrial sector, demand for autonomous vehicles is estimated to reach 10 billion in 2020.