EEE autonomous car racing students win 1st place to qualify in Deggendorf, Germany for European finals

Autonomous car racingA team of Electronic and Electrical Engineering final year students have taken pole position at an autonomous car racing event hosted by the Deggendorf Institute of Applied Sciences. Team SIMBA competed against 19 other teams to go through to the European finals of the Freescale Cup. The Freescale Cup is a global competition with over 23,000 students taking part in building, programming, and racing an autonomous model car around a track for speed. Using only cameras and motion sensors with no human interaction, the fastest car to complete the race circuit without more than two wheels leaving the track wins. This year 159 teams entered the European region competition, with the qualifying 21 teams going to the EMEA final at the end of April hosted by the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy. The winning team will secure a place to compete in the world final at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in Erlangen, Germany in September against teams from around the globe.

autonomous car 2The creation of this autonomous car requires embedded software programming and circuit creation using Freescale parts provided in kit form. Students create motor control hardware and software to propel and steer their intelligent car using a camera to follow a guide line around the track. The standard intelligent car is made up of an 1/18 scale model chassis with two 7.2V brushed DC motors for propulsion and a servo for the steering. The control system is powered by a Freescale microcontroller using cameras for line detection along with a number of other motion sensors to navigate the car around the track.

Whilst in Deggendorf the teams had to time to visit the sights and sample the local cuisine. Our visit to the Deggendorf Institute of Applied Sciences involved a tour of the their labs whilst Izgun and Miroslav made an appearance on local Bavarian TV

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. is a partner of the University of Sheffield in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. Established in 2012 through Dr Dan Gladwin and the Engineering Gateway team, the partnership brings a diverse portfolio of development tools, courseware, student career programmes and research collaboration increasing industrial awareness to our students.