SZEnergy: the student racing team of SZE is among the best ones in the world again

Following the success of the previous year, the SZEnergy Team student team of Széchenyi István University has made another major international achievement: it won second place in the 2023 Shell Eco-marathon Autonomous Programming Competition. The competition was held online, so applications were taken from student teams of any universities of the world among which the team of Győr performed outstandingly well again.

The SZEnergy Team, which has been operating at Széchenyi István University since 2005, is a student racing team working under the mentorship of the Vehicle Industry Research Centre of the institution developing electric vehicles and autonomous solutions. The team is a regular participant at the world’s greatest student competition, the Shell Eco-marathon which it won with a world record last year, but it is also consistently among the leaders in autonomous races. At this year’s recently organized World Autonomous Programming Competition the team once again excelled, coming in second place. Although the result is due to the work of all members, Blahovics Zoltán, Dobay Tamás, Mesics Mátyás and Unger Miklós played an outstanding role in the task.

This time the Indonesians turned out to be the biggest rivals with two of their teams on the podium but the SZEnergy Team also managed to beat renowned universities such as the University of Alberta from Canada, or the universities of Munich, Illinois and Torino.

Unger Miklós, Mesics Mátyás and Krecz Dávid, members of the SZEnergy Team. Besides them Blahovics Zoltán and Dobay Tamás, as well as Kőrös Péter and dr. Horváth Ernő as mentors played a great role in the success. (Photo: Májer Csaba József)

In addition to the glory, of course, the team was also rewarded for their hard work and results with a prize of 2,000 US dollars.

This was the third time this year that the SZEnergy Team has participated in the competition and solved the task related to development with two years of experience of its computer engineering students. The researchers of the university’s Vehicle Industry Research Centre played a major role in the preparation: dr. Horváth Ernő, the professional leader of the Autonomous Transportation Systems Centre and Kőrös Péter, the operative leader of the centre assisted and mentored the students’ work.


‘The ranking was based on the consumption of the vehicle and its sensor system built in the simulation environment. So here we had to apply the same optimisation procedures as we do in real competitions’, Kőrös Péter said. He added that this year’s first European live race will be held at the Paul Armagnac circuit near Nogaro, France between 19 and 25 May where the team is going to compete in the autonomous and energy efficiency races as well.

Racing track near Nogaro. (

This year’s programming competition was held in the same online format as previously, making it easily accessible to all. Participants had one month to complete the tasks of the competition. The students from Győr competed day after day with 25 university teams from all over the world, only 12 of which successfully completed the task without any faults. Participants had to develop track planning, sensing and control algorithms for an autonomous (i.e. self-driving) vehicle using the Robot Operating System (ROS). The codes were then tested in a simulated environment, but the specific location of the points could not be known in advance, so a point tracking technique was used.

‘Among those who scored fifteen points, energy efficiency mattered compared to an average electric car’- Mesics Mátyás, a member of the team and a master's student at Széchenyi István University said. 

‘We are going to enter the competition next year as well!’, students achieving the great international result drew the conclusion.

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