Students developing driverless racecars
The Formula Student Germany (FSG) competition is an international design and construction competition in which students build their own racing car to compete against teams from across the world in various competitions. The winning team is determined by which one has the best overall package of design and racing performance, financial planning, and sales arguments.
“In the Formula Student competition, students can gather valuable experience in project management, engineering, and software,” said Bernhard Bihr, the President of Bosch Engineering.
The FSG teams will compete against each other in three classes: combustion, electric, and, the new, driverless classes.
New competition class: Formula Student Driverless
In the new Formula Student Driverless competition class, 15 teams will compete against each other in their automated race cars. “In Formula Student Driverless, it’s not enough to redesign the vehicle’s cable harness and install additional technology,” said Roman Dörflinger, who is in charge of organization at KA RaceIng e.V., a race team from Karlsruhe, Germany. “Above all, we have to program the algorithms that will allow the race car to navigate the course completely on its own.”
The students first have to understand the principles on which a self-driving car is based. “One challenge for us was to help the vehicle get its bearings on the race track. Following several tests with radar, laser, cameras, and ultrasound, we opted for a combination of video image recognition and laser scanner,” Dörflinger says. “The Bosch experts and their experience were a great help for us in this respect.”
In self-driving race cars, Bihr says, software plays the same key role as in modern driver assistance systems: “In the area of connected mobility, software expertise is becoming especially important. Formula Student participants are thus ideally qualified for a successful career start. This is another reason we have been supporting Formula Student for ten years now.” Even now, one in three Bosch engineers is concerned with software.
As many as 115 teams will take part in the season’s opening contest in Hockenheim, Germany from August 8-13, 2017. Apart from the race series in Germany, other Formula Student competitions will take place around the world.