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The Dutch student team University Racing Eindhoven (URE) has just won the final classification rankings in its first race in the autonomous category of the Formula Student competition. On the Formula 1 circuit of Barcelona, the self-driving car from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) finished in the top three in six of the seven events. Although in the ‘endurance’ event, none of the participating teams made it to the finish line.

During the past week, the electrically-powered racing car tore over the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya without any human assistance. The car ran on an autonomous system designed in its entirety by students at TU Eindhoven. The competitors came from universities all over the world.

Tremendous achievement

“We are thrilled and proud,” said team leader Dion Engels in a TU Eindhoven press release. He calls it a tremendous achievement that the Eindhoven student team, during its first time participating in the autonomous racing categories in Spain, won the final rankings straight out. URE has been awarded a sum of 1,000 euros for its first place.

One blow to the party is the fact that the endurance event did not go according to plan. Like the six other teams from the US, Portugal and the Czech Republic, the Eindhoven racing car did not manage to complete the ten laps of roughly 300 meters. Engels: “I feel really bad about that. Our racing car did complete those laps during the test days in Lommel.”

During the other events, URE achieved a score that was worthy of a top three ranking in each category. This entailed not only racing skills such as cornering speed, acceleration and a qualifying lap; the entire design process was also evaluated by jury members from the automotive industry. Moreover, the participating teams had to make a detailed overview of all their costs, parts and labor processes and draw up a profitable business model.

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