CTU students placed 17th in the world rankings of the Formula Student competition. In the same ranking, it ranks ninth in Europe and – logically – first in the Czech Republic.
Formula Student is the largest international academic competition in the field of technology, in which more than 800 university teams from all over the world participate. They race with vehicles designed and built by the students themselves.
The competition was established in 1981 in the United States and from 1998 it began to expand to Europe as well.
It now includes dozens of plants on all continents (except Africa and Antarctica). Since 2010, teams can also compete with vehicles propelled by pure electric energy. In the same year, the first team in the Czech Republic, eForce FEE Prague Formula, was established and falls under the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague.
The competition is not only a purely sporting race, where speed is the decisive factor, but other criteria are also evaluated. Automotive design, performance, budget planning and marketing strategy.
“But in the end the key is still the 22km race, where the riders change mid-race. He also has the biggest points allocation. That’s where decisions are usually made. If you don’t complete it, you have no chance of getting a good placement. But the static disciplines also account for a relatively large part of the overall evaluation, around 30 to 40 percent. It is important to defend the design of the car, to understand it in terms of design and production,” says team member Jakub Štulík.
Currently, eForce is also the only Czech team to offer a functional electric propulsion formula with autonomous driving. “At the moment I am in front of this formula, we ran a race in the Czech Republic with autonomous driving. Due to the problems with the gearboxes, we now plan to leave only the driven part in Croatia, and moreover, they don’t even compete here with self-driving cars,” says Jakub Štulík of the situation.
We met him at the races in Croatia, at the electric sports car manufacturer Rimac’s test circuit, located near Zagreb. These are strictly driven races for the electric and combustion teams. These two categories are then announced separately.
Teams must build a new car in the competition each year. “For example, in the regulations of most races it is written that the chassis must change significantly every year,” adds Štulík. According to him, the team tries to keep even old cars roadworthy.
The eForce team currently has over 60 members. “However, we are not very many at the races, now we are 18 in Croatia, usually more of us at the races in the Czech Republic, around 30,” says Štulík.
Besides Prague, Brno University of Technology also has its team in electric formulas and is also trying to develop a similar car in Pilsen. In the hot part of the ranking, in addition to those already mentioned, there are also teams from Ostrava and Liberec.
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