We spoke to Alexander Duda, Head of Electronics for the team.
– Why build a combustion engine car?
We started building cars for Formula Student 12 years ago. At that time the competition was only for combustion engines. When electric cars were introduced 5 years later we set out to build both electric and combustion cars.
Unfortunately it was not possible for us to continue building two cars due to the financial effort and the number of people needed. Therefore we decided to build only the combustion car, since we had more experience in this field and could expect to achieve better results with less financial expenditure.
We will also start to develop an autonomous system to comply with upcoming changes in the Formula Student rules.
– What would you say is your team’s strength?
We’re very good at developing a very high performing car that can compete with the world best teams with less resources.
– Will you engage in the Formula Student competition 2018/19?
Yes, we will again participate next season, we plan to attempt at the events in Austria, Germany and Spain. Last season was the best in the team’s history with a 7th place in Germany and a 4th place in Spain and we are looking forward to improving these results.
– Software and MCU platform(s)?
What makes us special not only in the combustion series, but compared to all other teams, is that we build the majority of our ECUs ourselves from scratch. We build our own Dashboard, an Transmission Control Unit and some smart sensor system, just to mention a few. In total we’ve built 11 ECU/smart sensor modules.
Our ECUs and sensors are based on ARM Cortex-M4 microcontrollers (STM32F446 and STM32F303). At the moment all controllers are running the Keil RTX RTOS (Note: not RTX5 but the older version where tracing is a bit complicated), but we will see some ECUs migrate to FreeRTOS this season.
– How do you intend to use Tracealyzer?
Since we just started using Tracelayzer we don’t have examples to share yet, but we will start using Tracealyzer to evaluate the behaviour of our Transmission Control Unit after the migration to FreeRTOS.
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).