Estonian Students are Building the First Self-Driving Formula of the Baltic States
Formula Student Team Tallinn (FS Team Tallinn), the joint project of TalTech and Tallinn University of Applied Sciences, is taking on new dimensions. In addition to the electric vehicle, the only self-driving formula in the Baltic States FEST19-DV made by students will be also racing in spring.
FS Team Tallinn is a student organisation where a team of 60 people built one car last season. In the 2018/2019 season, an 80-member team is involved with the formula. The team is divided into two groups - an electric and a self-driving formula team. There are 15 people operating in the team of self-driving car.
Student formulas have been around in the world for 30 years, and the self-driving category was only added two years ago. According to Rico Jaanipere, FS Team Tallinn Team captain, the student formula tour is based largely on the traditional automotive industry. "This is an international high-tech product development competition, therefore, the ideas need to follow new trends. The aim of the competition is to provide young engineers with the challenges that come with the cutting-edge technology," Jaanipere explained.
The rules of the self-driving formula stipulate that the car will compete on an unknown track, which the machine must independently map, and then make decisions that would normally be made by the driver. The self-driving racecar of the Estonian Student Formula Team will be introduced at the beginning of the summer, next year.
Jaanipere explained that the construction of a self-driving formula is a huge but also exciting challenge for young engineers and programmers. "Students have no prior experience and the necessary knowledge is learned during the course of their work. In addition, the car needs to be ready in nine months, because when missing the deadline, it is possible to enter the competition again only next year," he specified.
Usually, a racecar must not be older than a year. An exception is made to the category of the self-driving formula, which means that the self-driving system can be built on an older vehicle. FS Team Tallinn makes the self-driving formula on a platform of the previous season vehicle FEST18 that performed well on the European tour at the end of August.
Formula Student is a product development competition where student teams, in addition to building a vehicle, must also undergo various tests, race on a track, and defend car designs. Participation in the project gives a student the experience of designing and manufacturing the car during the university studies, introducing the young engineer the economy of the automotive industry, and teaching teamwork. Today, 49 teams of self-driving formula, 139 teams of electric formula and 556 teams of internal combustion engine formula are registered worldwide.
Read more about the Formula Student online: www.formulastudent.ee/en.