Royal inspection of eco racer

Wednesday 17 May 17
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by Andreas Johansen, Lisbeth Lassen

Contact

Jesper Schramm
Professor
DTU Mechanical Engineering
+45 45 25 41 79

About the eco car

DTU has participated in the Shell Eco-marathon since 2005 and has—with the exception of a single year—always won their Urban Concept class.


DTU set a world record in 2015, when the car managed to do 665 km on one litre of fuel. DTU hopes to be able to enter a driverless car in the 2018 competition. Read more about the project.

On Tuesday, 16 May, HRH Prince Joachim visited DTU to inspect this year’s eco car which will shortly be competing to win the Shell Eco-marathon 2017 in London.

The occasion for the visit is the annual presentation of DTU’s eco car, which will be participating in the Shell Eco-marathon in London in a few weeks’ time. If things go as they usually do, the 13th version of DTU Dynamo will perform well—as recent as in 2015, the car both set a European and later a world record in its class.

After a welcome by Senior Vice President Marianne Thellersen, Jesper Schramm, the man behind the project, had the honour of telling the audience about the improvements made on this year’s car. This includes, among other things, an improved suspension system and an exciting project which will result in DTU already being able to enter a self-driving car in next year’s competition.

Photo: Mikal Schlosser

Racing in circles
Then the Scottish exchange students Duncan Strachan and Ben Turner took the floor to explain the ideas behind the new, autonomous car that will hopefully be ready for the 2018 competition. Attending the event was also the team behind Aalborg University’s 3D-printed car, which will be taking on the other participants in London.

After a thorough inspection by HRH Prince Joachim, the students started the noisy two-stroke engine of the DTU Dynamo 13.0, and the small car began racing around in circles among the new leaved trees on Produktionstorvet Square—much to the amusement of the many spectators.

Finally, HRH Prince Joachim took the floor and spoke passionately about all the hard work which the 15 young people behind this year’s eco car had put into getting ready for this year’s race in London. He also made sure to remind the students that even though they put many hours into voluntary projects, it was also important to focus on their exams—prompting great laughter from the audience.


Autonomous car in 2018

In order to improve the fuel economy of DTU Dynamo, the team has started making the car autonomous, so that the car will be able to complete the race without the intervention of a driver.


During the spring, the team has developed the first part of a system for an autonomous Urban Concept car, and the goal is to test this system at the Shell Eco-marathon 2017.


The DTU Roadrunners team has installed a GPS system in the car to be able to precisely measure where on the track it is situated, and they have installed sensors capable of detecting obstacles on the track while driving. It will also be necessary to automate the car’s steering and brakes, so that the autonomous car has the same opportunities as if there was a driver behind the wheel.


The DTU Roadrunners team expects to be one of the first teams to participate in the official category for autonomous vehicles, which will be launched at the Shell Eco-marathon 2018.

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