VisionHack – First international hackathon on computer vision for unmanned vehicles

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Recently, the words “Russia” and “Hack” have been paired together in the news with some pretty negative stigma, however VisionHack presents a different narrative regarding hacking in the Russian capital.

VisionHack will be the first university hackathon focusing on artificial intelligence and computer vision with prizes of more than $30,000.

The Moscow based competition will take place from September 11th-13th and will attract talent from around the world such as teams from MIT (USA), the University of Cambridge (UK), the University of Science and Technology Beijing (P.R. China), UPC (Spain) along with a number of university teams from Russia.

The competition will be jointly organized by NUST MISIS, one of Russia’s leading technology universities, and Cognitive Technologies, a company which develops AI systems for unmanned vehicles.

According to Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of NUST MISIS: “It is not a coincidence that Russia and NUST MISIS have become a venue for holding such high-level events-Russia has one of the world`s best schools for the development of artificial intelligence. Today, our domestic developments in the field of computer vision are highly rated by leading international experts, and the NUST MISIS team for several years in a row has reached the final of the ACM/ICPC international programming championship”.

The participants’ task will be to create their own intellectual subsystem for driver assistance and ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) capable of automatically detecting various events of the road such as: a car stopped in the middle of the street with its hazard lights on; or a dog or small child about to cross the street, essentially anything that might pose as a conventional danger within a street setting.

“Participants will have to solve real and significant practical issues of computer vision for unmanned vehicles”, said Olga Uskova, president of the Cognitive Technologies group.

The team which presents the most accurate and comprehensive solution to the set of proposed road situations will be crowned the winner and secondary prizes will be awarded for qualitative decisions on specific developments.

This is the first hackathon in the world dedicated to computer vision technologies and unmanned vehicles. Within recent years, the focus on technology related to unmanned vehicles has been a point of interest for tech giants and governments everywhere such as Lyft and Uber, who have announced ambitions to advance their own self-driving technology. Moreover, experts expect self-driving technology to be one of the biggest technological advances by 2021, making the need for this competition all the more relevant.