Students from the University of Science and Technology of Beijing have won the Grand Final of the Freescale Cup Challenge 2015, hosted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen. They prevailed and won the race after a fierce competition that brought together the winners from regional rounds around the globe. The teams were from universities in India, Switzerland, Mexico, Brazil, the USA, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and China.
The Freescale Cup, sponsored by Freescale Semiconductor, is part of Freescale’s University Programs. The Challenge, which has been in existence for the past 13 years, has been targeting college students all across the globe. It presents them with an opportunity to experience and learn major concepts of mechanical, electrical and computing engineering technologies in a fun and competitive environment.
Student teams are challenged to build, programme and race an intelligent model car around a track. The car is autonomous and must stay on the racetrack at all times. The fastest car to complete the track without going off the track wins the race. Cars are powered by powered be a Freescale 32-bit processor or MCU technology, products which are widely used in the industry. The cars share the same chassis basis and use similar batteries.
Twenty-five students, mentored by their faculty advisors, raced their cars on the 2015 Freescale Cup track at Fraunhofer IIS. The 180m2 racetrack consisted of speed bumps, intersections, hills and chicane curves.
This year, students have qualified around the world on a racetrack where the blacklines are on the outside of the race track and no longer just a single line in the center, giving students an additional challenge in making sure their cars remain between the lines on the track.
Students have been working for the past 6 months to assemble, program and test their vehicles. They had 6.5 hours to test and fine-tune their vehicles before the decisive race. During the training period, students had to prepare their car’s ability to avoid exiting the racetrack, quickly accelerate and brake within a given distance.
The Freescale Cup Challenge is reflecting the latest evolutions in the automotive industry, where advanced driver assistance systems are now heavily relying on processors and sensors technologies. Students had for example the ability to use up to 16 sensors, such as camera, accelerometers, gyroscope to make sure their car stays on the track.
For the final, each car had to run at high speed around the track. Each team had a maximum of 3 attempts to record a lap time during which, the first successful lap run qualified as the recorded time.
The team USTBSMARTCAR from University of Science and Technology of Beijing, China, won the competition, finishing just ahead of team Swinburne, from the Faculty of Engineering, Computing & Science, Swinburne University of Technology, Malaysia, and team ARCar1, from Haute Ecole ARC Ingénierie, Switzerland.
“The Freescale Cup has once again demonstrated that the mix of high-end technology and passion for racing has attracted highly talented students and educators, with over 32 000 students enrolled worldwide in the competition this year. Students find the linkage to automotive and robotics applications very exciting” said Steve Wainwright, General Manager EMEA, Freescale. “The spirit of the game is that students need to demonstrate excellent hardware integration and superior programming in order to be competitive. The learning achieved during the last 6 months will support those students in successfully developing their career in engineering. The industry values highly students who have “hands-on” experience in state of the art technologies, and can demonstrate the ability to collaborate, innovate and challenge themselves”.
Prof. Albert Heuberger, Director of Fraunhofer IIS, said: “The students commitment, their team spirit and technical sophistication during the Freescale Cup World Championship 2015 have inspired me. The Freescale Cup unites and challenges students from all over the world. Being one of the world’s leading application-oriented research institutions, it has been a pleasure for us to host this unique event.”