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University Racing Eindhoven – URE – unveiled its latest formula car during a presentation event yesterday held at the Technical University of Eindhoven – TU/E. 

URE 16 is the name of the vehicle, which drives on electricity. The car features an autonomous drive system, that can be easily switched to be operated by a driver. 

The Eindhoven team developed a new car to compete in the national and international student competitions. A cohort of 70 students worked in designing the URE 16, coming from different study fields. 

“We spent over 80.000 hours to develop the URE16. It’s a lot of work, but that has been possible thanks to a team of motivated people, willing to design, build, and test a car next to their studies,” told Innovation Origins Joos Kat, URE team manager. 

Faster car, improved battery 

The URE 16 introduces a new system for switching from human to autonomous drive in a few seconds. “It is possible by simply pulling a bolt next to the steering wheel. In the previous models more than four hours were needed to switch from one mode to the other,” explains Kat. 

Joos Kat

Joos Kat

Team manager at URE

He’s also part of the business and operations department of URE.

Furthermore, the electric system went under redesign. URE 16’s power train is now a 600 volts one – from a 400 one last year. To do that, a new accumulator, a battery pack, and a new engine have been developed. The chassis is a new one too, in order to fit the redesigned components. 

URE 16 can reach up to 120 km/h speed, getting from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.1 seconds – 2 tens of a second faster than its predecessor URE 15. “Our goal is making the car reliable. We race in smaller circuits, so top speed isn’t as important as agility in the corners,” underlines Kat. 

Learning process 

With regard to reliability, the URE team worked a lot this year. Despite being a successful car, the URE 15 burned down because of an accumulator problem. Kat: “It was a shock for us. We did extensive research with specialists and improved the safety systems, as well as integrated a physical fire extinguisher.” 

To conduct such research and to develop every year a better car, URE has a solid network of partners to draw knowledge from – such as Prodrive Technologies and Additive Industries. Experts from the automotive and electronics help students to apply what they learn during classes at the TU/E. 

In addition to that, the University provides students with full support. They have a workshop facility where they can – from day one – step by step build their car. 

Let them race

In three weeks and a half, the URE 16 will compete in its first race – with a driver – in Assen. Then, it will challenge its European competitors in Germany and will close the season in Barcelona. In the two international venues, both autonomous and non-autonomous driving races will take place. URE is the title-holder for the Formula Student in the autonomous drive category.

“Our goal for this year is making it to the top ten of the Formula Student competition again. We compete for winning, but we’d also like to leave something for the next year’s team members to build upon,” sums up Kat.