Foto Yarne De Munck, UGent Racing

Ghent students to build driverless race car

A team of eighty students of engineering at Ghent University has unveiled its new prototype for a self-driving electric racing car.  Next week the team starts on a second version that will run entirely independently.

The students hope to use their vehicle to race teams from other universities soon.  Yarne De Munck is one of the students of civil and industrial engineering involved in the project: “With the experience we acquired during the development of the first car we are well equipped to implement autonomous systems in the second vehicle. The aim is to build an electric car that can operate entirely independently.”

The prototype resembles a small Formula 1 car and can seat one person.  The second vehicle should be finished by next summer in time to start racing.  The students can already take to the road with the prototype, but this still requires a driver.  

Next year the driverless car will be ready to race in international competitions in Spain, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands. These are the Formula Student Competitions that engineering students participate in.  Cars are judged on the driving performance, their design and their mechanics. Competition judges also scrutinize the students’ business plan and examine what they did with the available funding. 

In addition to taking part in international competitions the students also intend to use the knowledge they acquired as part of their efforts to obtain a master’s degree. The students also hope to generate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics studies.

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