Paving the way for autonomous vehicles: Student teams use operations research and analytics to help GM introduce new vehicles to fleet


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

Paving the way for autonomous vehicles: Student teams use operations research and analytics to help GM introduce new vehicles to fleet

Austin, TX, April 16, 2019 – Student teams around the world have shown they are more than ready for the challenges they will face in their professional careers, with a group of students from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea successfully using operations research (O.R.) and analytics to help GM analyze how autonomous vehicles may change the finished vehicle delivery and operating processes to win the 2019 O.R. & Analytics Student Team Competition.

This competition, run by INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals, was created to challenge students to apply their considerable talent to develop solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing our world today. The problem and funding for the 2019 competition was provided by General Motors a leading international retirement savings and asset management company with millions of customers in more than 80 countries.  

Six teams comprised of O.R. and analytics students from around the world competed in this year’s competition. They each used the same data sets and software options, and had access to GM’s company technical and management personnel, to designing an autonomous vehicle delivery network, including the routing for each plant-dealer-vehicle combination. The objective was to minimize total costs while satisfying all constraints.

“The O.R. & Analytics Student Team Competition challenges emerging O.R. and analytics professionals to solve the types of complex, real world challenges they will face in their careers,” said Melissa Moore, executive director of INFORMS. “Their solutions provide an exciting glimpse into what the future holds in the fields of O.R. and analytics!”

In addition to the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology team, five other universities were finalists in the 2019 competition:

  • Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Republic of Korea
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • Tilburg University, The Netherlands
  • University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • University of Maryland University College, United States

The winning team was announced at the 2019 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference, in Austin, TX, following a final oral presentation by each finalist team. Prior to the conference, finalists were selected by a panel of industry and academic experts based on each teams’ use of the full analytics process, from framing the problem to methodology selection, data use, model building, and quantitative analysis. 

“General Motors is proud to support this year’s O.R. & Analytics Student Team Competition, and highlight the essential role advanced analytics plays in helping companies solve the complex problems of today and plan for future challenges,” said Jonathan Owen, Director of the Advanced Analytics COE, GM Chief Data and Analytics Office.” 

For more information about the INFORMS O.R. & Analytics Student Team Competition, visit



With 12,500 members from nearly 90 countries, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individual professionals, and organizations of all types and sizes, to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to transform strategic visions and achieve better outcomes.

Visit or @informs.