KU Leuven and Thomas More students present first self-propelled racing car

Formula Electric Belgium presented its brand new self-propelled electric racing car Supernova on Thursday. Some 20 students from KU Leuven and Thomas More, who have just completed their masters or are still working on it, joined forces with 120 companies to build the car, which is equipped with smart sensors and a powerful computer.

"We have completely transformed an old racing car of ours into a fully self-driving car," said Remko Schippers, team manager of Formula Electric Belgium, during the presentation. "The aim of our team is to work with new technologies and to be innovative. With a powerful computer, the environment is observed and the car can make decisions whether to steer left or right, brake or accelerate."

Currently, Supernova's speed is still limited to six metres per second, which corresponds to an average speed of 25 kilometres per hour.

"A next step is to improve the steering motor, which moves the wheels, so that it will be able to steer effectively even at higher speeds."

The presentation was not an easy one. After the car had explored the track for the first time, the connection to the on-board computer was interrupted, causing it to deviate from its trajectory. After a brief intervention and check, the car completed the whole track several times without any problems.

The team will use the coming academic year to conduct further research and later participate in the Formula Student races of 2023 with their self-driving car. This year, they are still participating with an electric racing car with driver.





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