Baby, you can ride my (autonomous) car 🎵

Baby, you can ride my (autonomous) car 🎵

The world is waiting for self-driving cars to rule the streets and autonomous vehicles to serve people in vast ways, from shipping to getting beer from the fridge. That’s what the Ottawa Autonomous Vehicle Group (a group of techies that takes fate into their own hands to tinker and create with what will become commonplace in the future) believes.

OAVG is focused on applying machine learning, control systems, and electronics to small-scale RC car projects. They meet regularly at the Makerspace North Warehouse and welcome people of all skill levels to innovate on projects of varying scales and levels of autonomy. The main goals are to learn, teach and apply something new.

Here’s the group troubleshooting some motor controller and Bluetooth connectivity issues

Among the group’s more popular projects are Donkey Car and the Autonomous Snowplow. 

Donkey Car is an opensource DIY self-driving platform for small scale cars. Users can build their own toy car that can drive itself or be driven with a phone or laptop and take part in DIY Robocars races.

With the Autonomous Snowplow Project (pictured above), the group aims to apply modern AI and navigation techniques (e.g. a library called YOLO for object detection and RTK GPS for localization) to design, build, and operate a fully autonomous snowplow to remove snow from a designated path. Check out this video of OAVG’s build of the autonomous snowplow as of December 2019.

This year, the group plans to host a Hack and Race event for the smaller scale autonomous cars, along with submitting the Autonomous Snowplow project in the Hackster NVIDIA AI at the Edge competition.

Want to attend OAVG’s next meetup? Join their group to be notified.

Up Next

Sunday, January 12 they’re hosting a DIY Robocars / ION Autonomous Snowplow Meet. OAVG even has a track where participants can train and test their cars.