Monash Motorsport Europe Update

08/06/2018 09:00AM

A team from Monash Motorsport left Australia in May to compete in a driverless car event in Germany. Under the banner of Formula SAE, they’ll compete in the Formula Student Germany championships, scheduled to be held in Hockenheim, Germany, in early August. The first competition was held last year. The concept here is to develop a vehicle that will be capable of fully autonomous driving and with a human on board for manual driving. Part of the program is to work with algorithms and sensors that will have the car sense its own way around a circuit.

Formula SAE itself is aligned with the idea of having a business contract a team of students to develop and build a Formula race car. Monash Motorsport themselves have recruited more students to their team, with a Mechatronics and an Electrical Engineering focus.

The Monash Motorsport team, with support from Davies Craig heading towards its sixth year, have been working on two vehicles, a combustion engine and electric engine duo, and will be using these cars in events in Europe such as the Formula Student Germany E.V. Formula Student driving has teams training in aspects of circuit driving and make sure both cars and drivers are up to the task, the test circuits are full of turns. This helps to ensure that the cars are engineered to deal with the physical stress of g-forces at speed.

Following from this is ensuring that the drivers are also capable; three gym visits a week, a seven kilometre run and a one kilometre swim are also part of the regime. On top of all of this are sessions with simulators, programmed to replicate the Australian, UK, and Germany circuits. To assist in the development of the cars the simulators are also programmed to replicate the real world vehicles, meaning the driver’s are gaining practical experience and exposure to the 1:1 scale cars they’ll be racing. The 2017 season showed this effectiveness as there are time penalties for hitting cones on a real track. The simulation sessions had the drivers lapping a second quicker and not hitting any trackside obstacles.

Ruth Li from Monash Motorsports also reports that the team will be finalising presentation details covering Cost Event, Design Event, and Business Presentation Event, with speech rehearsals and marketing material being polished.

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