Edinburgh students win driverless race car competition again
A team of Edinburgh students has won a driverless race car competition for the second year in a row. The team developed AI software allowing the car to race around Silverstone circuit at the world’s largest student competition – Formula Student.
More than 100 university teams competed in the annual Formula Student UK competition, run by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Traditionally, the competition challenges student teams to design, build and race a single-seat race car.
The new driverless competition was run only for a second time this year. Students were provided with an autonomous vehicle and were challenged to develop an autonomous driving software.
The Edinburgh University Formula Student (EUFS) team built on their success from last year and were crowned overall winner of the competition.
From simulation to the real world
The biggest challenge for our team was working without access to the real car. To overcome this limitation, we developed a simulation and used it to create our autonomous driving software. When we first transferred our software from simulation onto the real car, I could not believe that it just ran at speeds of more than 20 mph!
Building on their success, EUFS have now taken up the ambitious challenge of designing and constructing their autonomous race car which they plan to enter in the 2020 competition. They are hoping for it to be the UK’s first successful driverless Formula Student car bringing together the team’s expertise in race car design and self-driving vehicle software.
EUFS are always on the lookout for new members. The teams’ application process starts in September. Interested applicants are encouraged to follow EUFS on social media.
Autonomous cars are not the only interest of the team. Established in 2014 by a group of undergraduate students, EUFS also designed and built a single-seat racing car which the students then race against other university teams. EUFS now ranks over 80 members from various disciplines and at different points of their studies in one of the most multi-disciplinary and diverse projects on campus.