Next Stop: Formula Student Trophy

Blickfeld supports the Elbflorace team of the TU Dresden with LiDAR sensors

For the last 15 years, the Elbflorace team from TU Dresden has successfully built race cars to participate in Formula Student competitions. This year, for the first time, Blickfeld Cube 1 LiDAR sensors are also part of the project. The team has continually evolved its technology over the years: in 2010, the first car with an electric drive was introduced, and since 2018 they have been fielding autonomous race cars as well. This year, the car can compete in both disciplines as their vehicle can operate autonomously (or with a driver) while using an electric drive.

The Elbflorace team consists of around 60 students who are developing the racing car along with their studies. The project is financed by the TU Dresden and sponsors who support with materials, funding, technology, and expertise. The team has different disciplines, ranging from management and marketing to chassis, aerodynamics, electric drive, powertrain, and autonomous system.

This year, the team decided to incorporate Blickfeld’s solid-state LiDAR sensors, and Head of Autonomous System, Alexander Phieler, explains why:

“For our autonomous driving, we rely on SLAM, which stands for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping. With the Blickfeld LiDAR, we can increase the robustness of our system, and thanks to the high vertical resolution, we are also capable of accurately detecting the cones that mark the race track.”

In addition to LiDAR, the team also relies on cameras and GPS. “During the first lap, the cones are detected, and based on this “map”, we calculate how the vehicle must drive to complete the race course as quickly as possible.” This means the data from the various sensors are evaluated. On this basis, steering angles and speed are calculated, which the vehicle can use to complete the course as quickly as possible. 

“What we find particularly convincing about the Blickfeld sensors is the ability to customize the scan pattern. This helps us a lot in optimizing our application,” Phieler continues. “The intuitive software is also a big plus when it comes to fusing and evaluating different data.”

The Elbflorace team plans to participate in four Formula Student competitions across Europe this year. The race car, named LizzE, is currently undergoing numerous tests, and further optimizations are planned before it hits the race track. In any case, the Blickfeld team is keeping its fingers crossed!

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