PRE charger for first Delft Driverless DUT

This year the Formula Student Team Delft (DUT team) will take part in the driverless competition for the first time. Not only will there be an electrical vehicle, this year there will be a second driverless electric vehicle that will participate and compete to win. The first year it will be a big challenge to have the car drive properly. The basis for this driverless car is last year’s car, used by the DUT team. It mainly comes down to software engineering! PRE power developers sees a lot of potential in self-driving electrical vehicles and car sharing. By sponsoring PRE aims to contribute to a more efficient use of means of transportation and energy use.

Driverless electrical vehicles are the future
Since 2000 the team from Delft participates in the Formula Student Competition. The first ten years they took part with a combustion engine, but as of 2010 the team used an electrical engine. The Formula Student organization wishes to follow the most important trends and at this moment driverless driving is seen as ‘the next big thing’ in the automotive industry. To stimulate these developments from a scientific point of view, it is only natural that the organization started. Team manager Jelmer Blom: “There are still two separate competitions for driverless driving. In any case we are moving towards a hybrid form. We expect that in 2021 every car will be able to do the acceleration test autonomously.

Cooperation with MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston)
At the moment there are two different competitions. Jelmer Blom: “There are already teams that are building a hybrid car. We chose to enter with two separate teams. This way everyone can focus on their own car.” The Driverless team works together with MIT from Boston. “MIT wanted to enter the competition, but they didn’t have a good car. We had a good car, but not enough electrical and software engineers. Cooperating with each other seemed like the next best step, therefore. The team now consists of twenty students from the Technical University in Delft en twenty from MIT.

The biggest challenges are electronics and software
By using the DUT 2018 the mechanical challenges are not that difficult. Three students are working on those mechanical changes: adding sensors, cameras and steering wheel activation. Also there has to be a physical emergency button near the team. The other students are working on the electrical and software development. Jelmer: “The software is the biggest challenge. At the moment a team from Zürich is miles ahead on the competition. In several competition items they are approaching the times of the manned cars (for example with the item skidpad). Most cars aren’t that far yet; cars regularly go of course. Of course we want to win the race, but the first thing is having the car function as it should.

Video AMZ Formula Student – Learning based motion planning for AMZ Driverless

PRE sponsors DUT 2019 in driverless competition
The new driverless team uses the 2018 car. Naturally, a charger is necessary. Normally, the charger goes over to the next car and will be adjusted by PRE to the new wishes and demands. Because there are two teams now, PRE will be sponsoring the Driverless team with a charger. Jelmer: “PRE is a wonderful and capable partner. They think along with us and we have never had any problems with any charger they provided. We are happy that PRE also sponsors the driverless competition.”

Driverless developments

Tesla announces self-driving robo-taxis
An announcement by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, shows that the technological developments in driverless technology are fast. Tesla has created a chip that will be the basis of the artificial intelligence where the self-driving car will run on. This chip can process the data from cameras, radar and sonar systems in the neural network at high speed. Tesla is training the neural network on a basis of the (interference) data of 500.000 Tesla’s that are driving around already. Tesla is in the vanguard of the competition. The big difference between Tesla and other initiatives is that Tesla doesn’t use a Lidar. According to Elon Musk a Lidar is not necessary for a self-driving EV. Tesla also announced they will be producing RobotTaxis as of 2020. This means they will start competing with Uber. We are looking forward to the future and the developments in the area of shared self-driving electrical cars. It is certain that this will impact user cases and the business model for the V2G and V2x applications.

View: Business insider: Watch Tesla Unveil Its Full Self-Driving Computer In Under 5 Minutes


PRE Power Developers
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The Netherlands

Formula Student Team Delft
Stevinweg 1
2628 CN Delft
The Netherlands


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