Team Ampera’s Raspberry Pi-Powered Autonomous Breakthrough

In the heart of the Formula SAE Brazil competition, Team Ampera from the Federal University of Santa Catarina unveiled the first Raspberry Pi-powered autonomous vehicle — a pioneering project. Running on Python code, this venture marked a unique intersection of affordable technology and autonomous vehicle development within the framework of an engineering challenge that has been pushing innovation boundaries since 2004.
Team Ampera
Team Ampera with their groundbreaking AMP-223 prototype, showcasing the fusion of Raspberry Pi technology and engineering prowess at Formula SAE Brazil. Source: @amperaracing on Facebook

Leveraging Technology for Autonomous Navigation

The AMP-223 prototype, Team Ampera’s entry, is a leap in the application of accessible tech to solve complex engineering problems. The vehicle navigates autonomously by processing images from a camera, which feeds data to a Raspberry Pi 3 (yes, you read that right!). Python algorithms interpret this data to identify track limits and compute optimal driving paths, effectively controlling the vehicle’s movement without human intervention.

Tag alert: Subscribe to the tag Autonomous Vehicles and you will receive an e-mail as soon as a new item about it is published on our website!

Communication at the Core: The Role of CAN Bus

Critical to this system is the CAN bus, a technology enabling efficient communication between the vehicle’s electronic control units (ECUs). This network backbone, standardized by ISO 11898, allows the seamless execution of the autonomous driving algorithms by facilitating data exchange within the vehicle’s network.

The CAN bus lets ECUs chat without a wiring mess, using just two wires. An ECU sends data over, and others pick up what they need, ignoring the rest. Source: CSS Electronics

Team Ampera’s success not only showcases the integration of modern computing with automotive engineering but also highlights the evolving landscape of autonomous vehicle technology. Their approach demonstrates the practical application of our favorite simple, accessible technologies to create sophisticated autonomous solutions. 

Check out the First Lap video below from Raspberry Pi on YouTube, and keep up with the latest on Ampera's Instagram!

Tag alert: Subscribe to the tag Raspberry Pi and you will receive an e-mail as soon as a new item about it is published on our website!