Connected Car Enthusiast? Inventor? Hacker? We’ve Got a Challenge for You!

By December 24, 2017 March 27th, 2018 Automotive, Connected Cars
Connected Car Challenge

We’ve Got a Challenge (and $10,000) for You

SAE International is the world’s largest professional association of over 128,000 automotive and aerospace engineers worldwide.

The Vehicle IoT Committee of SAE is inviting you to participate in a Connected Car Challenge.

During the Challenge, participants will propose, build and demonstrate an innovative connected-vehicle device, system, or application that demonstrates how vehicle connectivity can contribute to improving mobility, quality of life of individuals and communities, and the environment.

Finalists will be invited to present their innovation at WCX: an annual gathering of over 12,000 automotive executives and practitioners in Detroit, MI, on April 12, 2018. The winners will be selected by a panel of judges and will receive substantial cash awards:

  • First Prize: $10,000 cash award
  • Second Prize: $5,000 cash award
  • Third Prize: $3,000 cash award

How Do I Participate?

 Two ways to apply to participate in the Challenge

1. Submit your idea directly via email to Nori Fought at SAE.


2. Go to the SAE Registration page to register and submit a short summary of a problem you are proposing to solve, and the solution demonstration you would like to develop. This is SAE’s general technical paper submission portal; use the Abstract area to describe your idea.  If you are having difficulties using the registration portal, please feel free to submit your idea directly via email to Nori Fought at SAE.

The Official Rules of the Connected Vehicle Challenge and other details concerning registration and participation are available on SAE’s website. Please note that the Official Rules and schedule are subject to change.

Key Dates

Key dates are listed below for your information:

  • December 18, 2017  Call for participation opens
  • February 28, 2018    Proposals due
  • March 10, 2018           Progress report due
  • March 13, 2018         Finalists notified
  • April 12, 2018           Final competition at WCX, in Detroit, Michigan, and cash prizes awards!

We want you to think outside the box. We encourage you to propose any technical or business idea you believe will contribute significantly to the state of the art in connected-car technology and could have a meaningful impact on future personal mobility or public and commercial transportation.

Think Outside-In

What is the potential role of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, blockchain and other exciting technologies in building and shaping the future of connected mobility? Consider ideas that put the connected car as a constituent of the Industrial Internet of Things, the smart grid, etc.

To help you get started, we have listed some ideas. Use them as a starting point and combine different facets to propose ideas that are truly out of the box and, at the same time, are useful and interesting. Here are a few:

Driver and Passengers Health, Safety and Comfort

Drivers, especially of commercial vehicles, spend many hours of the day in their vehicle. Can you design a mechanism to improve comfort and reduce stress and fatigue? How about monitoring occupant’s health and well-being?

Vehicle Telematics

With the increasing amount of data available from modern cars and trucks, can you propose new ways to leverage this rich data? For instance, can this data be used to optimize fleet operations? Can different vehicles and industrial equipment (from different OEMs) exchange information to optimize jobsite operation? You can also explore vehicle-home automation integration as yet another a way to leverage ubiquitous connectivity.

Autonomous and Driverless Operation

The path for fully autonomous operation involves many technologies such as object detection and recognition, navigation, real-time mapping, active safety features, predictive behavioral models, and many others. Does your idea make autonomous and ADAS technologies better and more affordable? Can it help integrate various technologies into an effective and safe robotic vehicle?

Traffic Management and Congestion Reduction

Can you propose an urban mobility solution to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion, and eliminate the waste in sitting idle in traffic or searching for parking?

Payment, Parking, Charging, and Retail systems

Fueled by 5G wireless communication, Wi-Fi hotspots, powerful head units and superior displays, the connected car provides a platform for a new generation of payments systems for parking, electric vehicle charging, and many types of personal retailing. Your idea could suggest a new in-vehicle system, a personal system for occupants, or, perhaps, a way for retailers to leverage vehicle connectivity to boost sales.

Ride-Sharing and Other Resource-Sharing Models

Ride-hailing and ride-sharing can be more than Uber and Lyft. Can you think of an innovating model to make carpooling work?  How about a method to pool resources to help busy parents manage after school activities?

Inclusiveness: People with Disabilities and Aging Population

This may be one of the more important contribution of autonomous vehicle. Think about ways to use autonomous cars to make society more inclusive and provide higher level of mobility and services for an aging population and people with disabilities.

Private-Public Transit Collaboration and Coordination

What’s the use of affordable public transit if people who need it cannot get to it easily and cheaply from their home, or must endure long waits in the cold and dark for the bus to show up? What is the benefit of a 30-minute Los Angeles to San Francisco Hyperloop trip if it takes you an hour to get from your home to the station?  Can you design a better model to manage and coordinate public transit resources?


Q: I missed the deadline! Can I get an extension?

Yes!  SAE wants to give more innovators and entrepreneurs an opportunity to practice and extended the deadline to February 28!

Q: What, exactly, am I supposed to submit now?

All we need is short summary of a problem you are proposing to solve, and the solution demonstration you would like to develop. Please submit your idea directly via email to Nori Fought at SAE.

Q: The registration website talks about technical papers and presentations. I thought I am supposed to build something…

See above.

Q: The links you provided do not take me to a place I can submit my idea. What’s the deal?

SAE went through website updates and changes to reflect the new World Congress Experience. Inferentiality, unfortunately, some links broke or were incorrectly predicted.

The links have been corrected, but if you are unsure which link to use or are having difficulties using the registration portal, please feel free to submit your idea directly to Nori Fought at SAE.

Q: What if I cannot travel to Detroit?

If you are selected to compete at WCX but are unable to attend the final competition stage in person, we will provide a live video link and an Internet connection, so you can present your solution remotely.

Q: I will need a vehicle with an OBD connection to demonstrate my idea. Can I bring my car to WCX?

Unfortunately, we cannot let you bring your car to the Connected Car Challenge competition. If you need to use live CAN bus data to demonstrate your idea (which we encourage you to do), you have a few options:

Q: What other technical resources are available for participants?

Contact Nori Fought at SAE if you’d like additional assistance using AWS Connected Vehicle resources.

Q: Is the Challenge limited to connected cars? What about trucks, tractors, drones and motorcycles?

Of course not. Any mobile and connected system will be considered.

Furthermore, we encourage you to think about connecting infrastructure and fixed assets that make up the connected mobility ecosystem of the future such as parking facilities, jobsite machinery, traffic lights, road signs, charging stations, and building automation and energy management systems.

Q: Can I submit more than one idea?


Q: Is it OK to include third-party hardware or software?

Of course. In fact, we encourage the use of off-the-shelf commercial components and open-source software to accelerate innovation and focus on innovation. Participants must ensure they comply with the licensing and fair use terms of any their-part hardware and software.

Q: This is exciting, but my company isn’t eligible. Can i still participate?

The Connected Car Challenge is open to individuals, teams, and small organizations of 50 employees or less. But even if your company doesn’t qualify, there’s still much you can do.

SAE is inviting companies who care about the cause to sponsor the Connected Vehicle Challenge.

By sponsoring the event, your company will be highlighted as a visionary and a leader in advancing the state of the art, and encouraging a new generation of young man and women that will shape the future of the connected car industry.  Your company will get exposure to SAE’s 128,000-strong membership that includes automotive engineers, executives and business developers.

To inquire about sponsorship and mentorship opportunities, please contact Linda Wagner at SAE.