April 1, 2018 Topcoder Expands into Self-Driving Sleds

You might remember that last year we hinted at our plans to expand into several new areas, including IoT and self-driving cars. Unfortunately, the proposed plan for necessary revenue generation has not been approved yet. Despite this, we decided to jump into it and launch a new series of contests to let Topcoder community develop an unprecedented project – self-driving sleds!

image source: https://miepvonsydow.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/the-iditarod-trail-sled-dog-race/
This project will require collaboration across all tracks:

  • A series of Marathon matches will help us solve major optimization problems, among them the routing problem (both for the single-sled and multi-sled scenarios), the harness optimization problem (whether the pulling individuals should pull in pairs in front of the sled, in a fan shape or in some other, entirely unpredictable formation) and the traditional sled packing problem.
  • Our designer community will come up with a vibrant sled design (use of Topcoder colors is required; bonus points for designing a TCO-logo-shaped sled).
  • Following that, a series of prototype and development contests will create several sleds in accordance to the design. Note that the winner of each contest will be required to complete a race in their sled as a prerequisite for getting the payment.
  • Once the prototype is complete, First2Finish contests will determine the propelling power of the project. Note that, unlike most Topcoder contests, teams of up to 12 individuals will be allowed to enter. Age restriction of 18+ will be waived for the participants.

The project will be completed by the time of TCO18. We aim to use the winning design as airport transportation. The winners will be required to do final fixes to adjust the sled if the TCO location has no snow at the time of the finals.
To subscribe to the news of the emerging self-driving sleds community, email april-fools@topcoder.com.


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