Students TU Eindhoven win their first autonomous race on Barcelona circuit

August 9, 2021

Electric racing car of team University Racing Eindhoven finishes in top three in six out of seven disciplines and wins the final ranking

URE in action on the Barcelona circuit. Photo: URE

Student team University Racing Eindhoven (URE) has won the overall ranking in its first race in the autonomous class of the Formula Student competition. On the Formula 1 circuit of Barcelona, TU Eindhoven's self-driving car finished in the top three in six of the seven disciplines. In the endurance event, none of the participating teams reached the finish line.

Last week, the electric racing car raced over the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya without any human help. The car drove on an autonomous system that was completely designed by students from TU Eindhoven. The opponents were universities from all over the world.


"We are happy and proud", says team leader Dion Engels. He calls it an enormous achievement that the Eindhoven student team immediately wins the final ranking during its first participation in the autonomous racing disciplines in Spain. URE wins a sum of 1000 euros with the first place. The student teams from Barcelona and Lisbon came in second and third.

URE prepares for the race. Photo: URE

It is a minor disappointment that the endurance section did not go according to plan. Just 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 300 metres. Engels: "I find that a pity. During the test days, our race car did complete those laps."

According to Engels, this has to do with the conditions in Barcelona. "Small changes compared to the test location, such as a different type of surface, a steep slope and the position of the sun, had a major impact on the self-driving race cars. This made it more difficult than expected for the car to optimally map out the track. A deviation of a few metres meant that we could not complete this race discipline."

The autonomous car of URE. Photo: URE


During the remaining disciplines, URE achieved a top three ranking in each discipline. This was not just about racing disciplines such as cornering speed, acceleration and a qualifying lap; the entire design process was also assessed by jury members from the automotive industry. In addition, the participating teams had to make a detailed overview of all their costs, parts and labour processes and draw up a profitable business model.

English: "Over the past few years, more than fifty of us have been busy building the electric and autonomous race car and developing the business model. That was not always easy in corona time, because a lot had to be done behind the laptop. That does not benefit the team spirit and motivation, which is why we can be extra proud. We learned a lot in Barcelona. We will take this experience with us with the aim of completing the final discipline next year."

Frans Raaijmakers
(Science Information Officer)

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