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Posted by Daniëlla van Laarhoven on 13-06-2017 12:07 PM

Innovation by co-creation: Automotive student teams break technology records

Categories: Brainport region

Student teams of Eindhoven University of Technology, Fontys University of Applied Sciences and companies in the Brainport Eindhoven region work together on breaking technology records when it comes to sustainable automotive inventions for the future. The student teams form an excellent chance for students to put their knowledge into practice and a great chance for automotive companies to learn more about the latest technology research performed at universities and to use their expertise for helping students.

In this way science meets business and immediately leads to innovation in various fields such as developing cooperative and automated driving technology, sustainable car production by using flax fibre composite, using solar energy to drive a family car and more. See what automotive student teams can be found in Brainport Eindhoven and what they have been working on together with companies and research institutes in the region.

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1. Solar Team - World champion Stella Lux: world’s first family car on solar energy

The Solar Team of Eindhoven University of Technology developed the Stella Lux, world’s first family car on solar energy. It won the World Solar Challenge in October 2015.The car is so efficient that it generates more energy than it consumes during the entire year, even in Dutch weather conditions! With the Stella Lux, the Solar Team also won a Crunchie for best global technological development in 2015.

Partner companies and organisations: NXP, Prodrive Technologies, NXP, Eneco Group, Axians, Neways, Frencken and many many more.

2. InMotion – beating a formula one car with a hybrid vehicle

In 2020 student team InMotion aims at participating in the 24 hours of Le Mans with a hybrid race car. Their goal is to beat a regular formula one car. The team will participate in the garage 56 category which is opened to experimental new technologies and innovations. With the IM/E, the precursor of the final vehicle, InMotion already set a new electric record on the circuit van Zandvoort in the beginning of June 2017.The team consists of fifty students. Partly from Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Eindhoven and partly from Eindhoven University of Technology. In the end the car needs to be able to race 24 hours at formula one speeds up to 280 kilometres per hour, being able to accelerate to 100 kilometres per hour in three seconds but with half of the energy usage.

Partner companies and organisations: ICT-Group, VDL, Automotive Campus and many more.

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3. STORM – around the world in 80 days on world’s first electric motorbike

Twenty-three students of student team STORM developed world’s first electric tour motorbike. On these bikes they travelled around the world in 80 days in 2016. Their aim was to demonstrate the world the potential of electric motorbikes. The students made a road trip of about 23,000 kilometres and made it around the world without any serious technical hiccups. The touring motorbikes run on a battery pack the students developed themselves. The pack, comprising 24 individual cartridges and good for up to 28.5 kWh of power, enables the motorbike to ride 380 kilometres before it needs recharging. That’s 13.5 kilometre per kWh. Compare this with a Tesla – 5 kilometres per kWh.

Partner companies and organisations: Prodrive Technologies, VDL, TomTom and many many more.

4. Team FAST – developing a city bus driven by formic acid

Building a city bus that is powered by formic acid. That is the ambition of Team FAST (Formic Acid Sustainable Transportation). It is a multi-disciplinary student team from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) that was founded in the beginning of 2016. Since formic acid can store hydrogen, an environmentally-friendly fuel, it has more benefits than existing hydrogen or electric powered cars. By using formic acid as a fuel, the TU/e student of team FAST hope to combine the strengths of electric and hydrogen powered cars without any of the drawbacks. Electric cars depend on batteries and thus have a limited range. An electric car can go further using hydrogen but the drawback here is that hydrogen is expensive to transport and store, and it also has to be transported under high pressure.

Formic acid can be made of (CO2), (H2O) and (sustainable) energy. During the production no harmful substances are released that affect the ozone layer or create smog. Partners of Team FAST are currently building their first factory where formic acid is produced in a sustainable manner with the help of solar panels, water and CO2 made of biogas from livestock farming.

Partner companies and organisations: VDL, ETAS, Swagelok, Burkert, Province of Brabant, Automotive Campus and many more.

5. University Racing Eindhoven

Student team University Racing Eindhoven competes in the world’s largest annual engineering design competitions called Formula Student. The teams try to push car technology to the limits. Each year a student team built a revolutionary electric Formula-style race car with help of sponsors and partner companies. The events are not only about winning, they are also a perfect place to share information with other teams and technological companies to develop new ideas.

Partners companies and organisations: Prodrive Technologies, Beele Engineering, AE Group, Schaeffler Group and many more

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6. TU/ecomotive – sustainable car production by using flax fibre composite

The automotive sector faces the challenge to make mobility more sustainable. Car manufacturers try to reduce emissions by using more light-weight material such as carbon fibre and aluminium but they seem to be missing the fact that the production of these new materials is extremely polluting. To really be able to produce in a sustainable manner, new light, strong and sustainable materials are needed. TU/ecomotive has found a solution in: flax fibre composite. This bio-based composite is light and strong. Moreover, it is possible to produce bio-composite locally which reduces pollution caused by transport.

TU/ecomotive is going to use this material to produce the first bio-based car: the Lina. The Lina’s chassis is completely made out of bio-based materials. The car offers room to four adults and only ways 300 kilo’s. The Lina is efficient and sustainable in each stage of life: from production to demolition.

Partners: NXP Semiconductors, BICON laboratories, the Province of North Brabant and many more.

7.Ateam – developing cooperative and autonomous automotive technology

The Automotive Technology team (ATeam) develops cooperative and autonomous automotive technologies. It consists of students and employees of Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Eindhoven and Eindhoven University of Technology. The people in the team have different backgrounds but all of them share the passion for autonomous driving and are specialized in different aspects related to Automotive Technology. It is a multidisciplinary team with expertise in many fields related to autonomous driving, such as: wireless communication, logistics, embedded systems, software engineering, management, control engineering, safety engineering, electrical engineering and human machine interaction.

The ATeam envisions a world in which anyone, of any age, or with any disability enjoys the freedom of mobility. Cooperative autonomous driving will help solve today’s problems of congestion by ensuring safe and reliable mobility. Recently the ATeam livestreamed a cooperative and autonomous drive on the A270, a road between the cities of Eindhoven and Helmond. The cars showed the benefits of WiFi-communication between a BMW and a Toyota Prius, an autonomous overtaking manoeuvre, and automated braking and accelerating at an intersection.

In the Brainport Eindhoven Region each day numerous people work on ground-breaking automotive technologies. The student teams are a good example of the innovations universities and companies work on. Do you have a background in technology, science or IT? And are you interested in working in the automotive field? For Bosch Automotive Technology, Punch Powertrain, TNO for example? Then register for talentBOX and your profile will automatically be matched with suitable current and future vacancies at these companies.

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