Unmanned student formula car of Beijing Institute of Technology debuts at the German race

Contributed by: School of Mechanical Engineering; Photographed by: School of Mechanical Engineering; Editor: E'Mei

On August 13, the first Formula Student Driverless at the Hoffenheim Motor Speedway in Germany was just closed. The first driverless Formula Student race car from Beijing Institute of Technology made a debut in the competition. Based on the scientific research strength of the BIT's driverless technology, the School of Mechanical Engineering released the world’s first unmanned formula car developed by university students in January 2016, and made relevant improvements in conjunction with the event. The driverless race car successfully participated in this competition in Germany.                                                 

A total of 22 teams from 6 countries applied to participate in the competition, including Germany’s Karlsruhe University of Technology, Stuttgart University, Technical University of Munich, RWTH Aachen University, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, MIT and other world-famous universities and colleges. A total of 15 teams were finally qualified to attend the competition, and BIT is the only participating team from Asia.                                                                                                      In the course of the competition, the team members actively conducted technical exchanges with the only three teams participating in all parts in the dynamic competition, and they had more ideas and research directions for the unmanned technology. The captain of the ETH Zurich team which is the only one that completed the competition showed the recognition for the BIT team: “You have great ideas for driverlessness. You are doing very well for this new challenge. I hope to see you again next year. To you, once again came to the German race field."

Figure 2 The players on the field try to overhaul the car and actively prepare for the competition

Due to technical problems in hardware and software, the team encountered numerous difficulties in vehicle inspections and competitions. In addition to the lack of experience in the first competition, this experience in Germany seemed more difficult, but the players were not discouraged, instead, they continued to actively prepare for the competition after a few days. In the reply of mechanical system design and driverless system design, the performance of the team was recognized by the referees. Combined with the video and related data collected during the test, the referees gave many suggestions on the development direction of the team. At the same time, team members communicated with several foreign teams on technical and managerial aspects. They also kept contact with the head of Karlsruhe University of Technology team and agreed to communicate with each other in the subsequent development of the team. In addition, in the course of participating in the competition, many companies such as Siemens and Continental have also developed a strong interest in the BIT team and hope to cooperate with the team.

Figure 3 BIT team participates in the static competition and is recognized by the referee

Figure 4: Leaders of well-known companies such as Siemens and Continental communicate with our school team members

In German, the first FormulaStudentDriverless was completed. As the first unmanned racing team representing China, BIT participated in a good exchange with professional referees, enterprise engineers, and team members from around the world and received valuable experience. At the race roundtable after the game, captain Pan Bo and unmanned system managers Tian Hanqing and Tian Daiying, on behalf of the team, proposed future development directions and suggestions for improvement of this event to the event's organizing committee. Head of each team and the organizing committee of the tournament conducted various exchanges and discussions, and put forward more ideas for the future race development.                                                                                        Despite regrets and inexperience in the event, the members of the driverless Formula Student race car team from Beijing Institute of Technology faced the cold weather, worked under the rain, actively prepared for the event, and did not give up. They demonstrated the skills, positiveness, perseverance, good learning and good image of the students in various competitions, and conducted exchanges with various teams and well-known companies in the world famous schools, which promoted the popularity of BIT and broadened the horizons of the players. The smooth progress of R&D work and the achievement of better results in subsequent events have accumulated valuable experience and laid a solid foundation.


(Reviewed by: Fan Wenhui)