1. Thank you for the email and good luck with your research and studies.
In terms of using, automata-based programming for automotive software or any other type of industrial applications - it is always difficult to bring a technology from research into industry. The cost of the technology must have a positive ROI (Return on Investment) before it can be widely accepted by industry. The technology must also be proven out and demonstrate that it can be used successfully in industry and has advantages over existing methods. In the case of "automata based programming" industry will need to see some concrete examples of where this was applied with positive results. A new programming paradigm also suffers from the disadvantage that all of the existing programmers will need to retrain and re-learn the way that they currently program (see how long it took object-oriented programming to become popular).
My suggestion is to try to utilize this approach for some existing real-world (not toy) problems as a way to show industry that the approach has merit and is superior to conventional procedural programming.
Nestor Rychtyckyj, Ph.D.
Technical Specialist, Artificial Intelligence
Manufacturing Engineering Systems
Ford Motor Company
2. First Obama helped you with money, now we help you with technology :-)
We are from SPb SU ITMO, some links regarding programming contests:
Best Regards, Shalyto