We spoke to Sebastian Ulrich, Team Leader Electrics and Electronics for Running Snail.
– Why build an electric car?
We’re taking part in the Formula Student, an international design competition with events all over the world. The electric cars are a future trend as well as giving the opportunity to implement a more complex car control. Furthermore, this will give the students good opportunities to find a job in the automotive world.
– Can you say anything about the challenges?
Building a new race car with new students every year is already quite a challenge. One of the biggest issues for many teams is reliability, so much time is spent on fixing problems. This of course makes a tool like Tracealyzer very valuable for us, as it can save a lot of time in finding and fixing problems.
– What would you say is your team’s strength?
The reliability of the car and to finish the disciplines without failures. Compared to many other teams, our members are part of the team for quite a long time.
The 2018 team
– Will you engage in the Formula Student competition 2018/19?
Yes, most likely we will take part at Formula Student Germany at the Hockenheim Ring, Formula Student Czech Republic at Autodrom Most and Formula Student Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Normally, it’s necessary to qualify for every competition, but due to our good results in the 2017/18 season (3rd in Spain and Germany, 2nd in Czech Republic) we’re pre-qualified for those events. We will of course try to beat the good results from the last year, although that will be very tough!
– Software and MCU platform(s)?
We use different Arm Cortex-based microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics depending on the Control Units (ECU, Battery Management System, sensor nodes, telemetry system). Our software is written in C using TASKING and completely self-developed, apart from the RTOS (FreeRTOS). Furthermore we have libraries for frequently used peripherals such as CAN, SPI or I²C.
– How do you intend to use Tracealyzer?
We’re using FreeRTOS on every controller and use Tracealyzer to validate our software, things like CPU load, maximum response times, use of communication resources et cetera. And of course we also use it to find bugs. Therefore we analyze how often tasks are executed and how long they take to finish. Furthermore the priorities of the tasks can be verified.
If you are studying or teaching embedded development, you too may be able to use Tracealyzer for free. You are welcome to check out our Academic Licenses (scroll to bottom of page).