Founded thirty seven years ago by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Formula Student opens the door to engineering students around the world to conceptualize and build a prototype race car to compete with other universities in world-wide competitions.
When joining the Formula Student Team, students are given the opportunity to prove their technical abilities regarding the design and manufacture of a prototype race car. An adventure of such scale allows the discovery of teamwork, finances and management within a professional setting.
This renowned high-end engineering challenge, aimed at University Students, is often part of an Engineer’s life course. Formula Student is the most educational Automobile Competition in Europe. It is managed by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and supported by the entire automobile industry and some of its leading names, such as Ross Brawn (Formula one Managing Director, Motor Sports and Technical Director).
Not only does this adventure include the design of a race car, but also nine contests taking place all around the world. The world’s best Universities compete by testing the performance of their vehicle in both Static and Dynamic Events. The Static Events, mostly focused on the technology implemented, rate the Engineering Design, the Cost Management and Business Plan of the vehicle. Whereas, the Dynamic Events target the physical capabilities of the car such as its Acceleration, Fuel Efficiency, Endurance, Handling, and overall performance for both dry and wet conditions.
Electric Vehicle Competition – 1000 points
Static Events - 325 points
Formula Student isn’t just about racing. It is above all an Engineering competition. Out of 1000 points, 325 points can be awarded for the Static Events.
- Business Plan – 75 points
- Engineering Design – 150 points
- Cost and Manufacturing – 100 points
During the presentation, two students will present a fictitious Business Plan to potential investors. The project idea must be innovative and the car must be at the heart of the development.
The Engineering Design event gathers automotive industry and motorsport experts around the car, whose smallest bolt will be carefully examined. The most elegant and efficient designs will be awarded the best grade.
The Cost and Manufacturing event will assess the team’s understanding of the manufacturing processes they used for their different parts, and the cost associated.
Dynamic Events - 675 points
Two thirds of the points are awarded during the Dynamic Events.
- SkidPad – 50 points
- Acceleration – 50 points
- Autocross – 100 points
- Endurance – 250 points
- Efficiency – 75 points
Skidpad is a 8-shaped track, where the car turns at the limit of its grip abilities.
Acceleration measures the car’s fastest time on a 75-meter straight.
Autocross is a 1-km sprint.
Endurance is a 22-km time trial, this is the most intense race, as it tests the good resistance of the mechanical parts of the car to an extended drive, as well as the good cooling of the brakes, the motor, and the battery pack.
Efficiency measures the energy used for the endurance race, as well as the energy recovered under braking. The most energy-saving cars are awarded the best grade.
In addition to the electric vehicles competitions, the team also aims to participate in the Driverless Cup. Formula Student added these autonomous events to the competition as a way to promote innovation and reaching toward the future of the automobile industry. This competition is independent from the manual competition, as all manual events are not completed and point distribution is different. Additionally, cars in the Driverless Cup don’t have to be new, which allows the teams to focus on the development of an autonomous system. The teams can therefore use previous competition cars for this purpose. We are currently testing our autonomous system on Mercury.
Static Event - 150 points
- Engineering Design – 100 points
- Autonomous Function – 50 points
The driverless vehicle’s Engineering Design is evaluated on design, performance, mechanical, structural and electrical aspects. An engineering design report is not asked for, as opposed to the electric vehicle competition.
Autonomous Function evaluates the driverless system that controls the car.
Dynamic Events - 450 points
In general, Driverless Dynamic Events have a similar procedure for starting and ending events. The vehicle is staged 0.30m behind the starting line. Once everything is safely set up, a go signal is given to the car, indicating approval to begin the event. Once the car passes the finish line, it must come to a full stop on its own, within 50 metres from the line. The points are awarded according to best performance on competition day.
- Skidpad – 75 points
- Acceleration – 75 points
- Autocross – 100 points
- Track Drive – 200 points
Driverless (DV) Skidpad is also identical apart from the driver change.
DV Acceleration is nearly identical to the Electric Vehicle competition version, with the exception that there is no driver to trade so it is only completed once.
DV Autocross takes place on the same track as the piloted equivalent, but the car may only pass it once.
For Track Drive the driverless cup asks for ten 1km laps, instead of the 22 for the piloted competitions.