Technology Innovation Institute Launches the TII Infrared Tracking Challenge to Usher in New Era of Autonomous Vehicles

Challenge Seeks Innovative Sensors for Navigation of Autonomous Vehicles in the Dark; Top Ideas to Share $75K Prize Purse

ABU DHABI, UAE, Feb. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Technology Innovation Institute (TII), a leading global scientific research center and applied research pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), and HeroX, the leading platform and open marketplace for crowdsourced solutions, today launched the crowdsourcing competition, the TII Infrared Tracking Challenge. The Challenge seeks approaches for effectively tracking objects in low-light conditions, both in structured and unstructured environments.

New generation autonomous vehicles must successfully navigate environments with challenging lighting conditions, and current perception-based tracking algorithms often fall short. TII is, therefore, exploring the use of radiometric sensors, which can provide infrared, rather than photometric frames for object tracking in low-light conditions.

“Autonomous vehicles are the future,” said Dr. Najwa Aaraj, Chief Researcher, Cryptography Research Center, and Chief Researcher, Autonomous Robotics Research Center, at the Technology Innovation Institute. “While autonomous driving technology still has some ways to go in achieving operational and technical impeccability, this Challenge will help innovators find solutions to ensure that autonomous vehicles on our roads operate as safely as possible. Such advancements will launch us into a bold, new phase of our autonomous transportation journey, and we are eager to see what the crowd comes up with.”

“You can always count on our network of innovators to push the envelope and propel us in exciting new directions,” said Kal K. Sahota, CEO, HeroX. “Enhancing autonomous vehicles is no exception: tapping the HeroX crowd is a strategic and efficient way to source innovations that will bring us into a thrilling new era for autonomous vehicles.”

The Challenge: The TII Infrared Tracking Challenge is open to innovators, start-ups, research institutes, and university students from anywhere in the world. Challengers are encouraged to leverage publicly available datasets with similar content as TII’s provided sample dataset and utilize color-to-thermal domain adaptation techniques when necessary. Submissions will be evaluated based on TII-defined criteria.

The Prize: Three winners will be awarded prizes totaling $75,000 USD by May 17, 2023. The first-place winner will be awarded $40,000; second place, $20,000; and third place, $15,000.

Eligibility to Compete and Win Prize(s): The prize is open to anyone aged 18 or older participating as an individual or as a team. Individual competitors and teams may originate from any country, if United States federal sanctions do not prohibit participation (some restrictions apply).

To accept the challenge, visit


HeroX is a platform and open marketplace for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity, co-founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Christian Cotichini and XPRIZE Founder and Futurist, Peter Diamandis. HeroX offers a turnkey, easy-to-use platform that supports anyone, anywhere, to solve everyday business and world challenges using the power of the crowd. Uniquely positioned as the Social Network for Innovation, HeroX is the only place you can build, grow and curate your very own crowd.

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About Technology Innovation Institute (TII)

The Technology Innovation Institute (TII) is the applied research pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC). TII is a pioneering global research and development hub that focuses on solving tomorrow’s challenges, today. It has ten dedicated research centers in advanced materials, autonomous robotics, cryptography, AI and digital science, directed energy, quantum, secure systems, propulsion and space, biotechnology, and renewable and sustainable energy. By working with exceptional talent, universities, research institutions, and industry partners from around the world, TII connects an intellectual community and contributes to building an R&D ecosystem that reinforces the status of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a global hub for innovation.

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SOURCE Technology Innovation Institute and HeroX