A Playground of Innovation
19 Oct 2019
The cars of tomorrow, packed with features you can expect to see on our driving horizon, were on show today at the City of Adelaide Finish Line.
The 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Cruiser Class category was judged today by an expert panel of adjudicators including industry leaders from Tesla and Prohelion, past BWSC faculty and alumni, international solar challenge organisers from Chile, South Africa and the US and media representatives.
The Cruiser Class was introduced in 2013 to bridge the gap between high end technology and everyday driving practicality, and is about much more than speed. Cruiser Class cars are judged on energy efficiency, passenger kilometres travelled, and design criteria that include interior comfort, features and marketability.
Despite all competing to the same set of regulations, designs varied significantly from Thailand’s colourful STC3 with lift up side doors; to SolarCar Team Hochschule Bochum's ultra-stylish Thyssenkrupp SunRiser with its wood panelled interior and heated seats; Onda Solare's Emilia 4 with in-built smart-tech, ATN Solar Car Team's sporty Priscilla with room in the boot for golf clubs and a slab of beer and fellow Aussies from the Flinders Automotive Solar Team in Investigator Mk 3 with its 800 Nm of torque; Lodz's Eagle Two with big data to cloud transfer capability; Cambrdige University Eco Racing's 4-seater family car Helia with extra legroom, and University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project's EOS II billed as the commuter car of the future with two battery packs for short and longer range travel and CalSol’s Tachyon with a focus on boot capacity and excellent visibility.
From the field of 13 Cruisers, three were able to complete the 3,000 kilometres under solar power, charging externally from the grid twice, and meet the critical control stop time windows. Solar Team Eindhoven from the Netherlands in Stella Era, once again demonstrated why they’ve been Cruiser Champions three times running.
Describing its car as an ‘opportunity seeker’, Stella Era is a charging station on wheels – she can charge for herself, supply power for the driver’s personal devices and charge other vehicles around her. She’s smart too being able to autonomously seek, find, and drive to the sunniest spots due to eight inbuilt radars which can detect the intensity of the sun.
Hong Kong’s IVE Engineering Solar Car Team in Sophie 6 focused on function and space. Their distinctive red and black design was inspired by a balance of Yin and Yang – the black representing Yin – the softness of nature and the Red, the Yang representing the Power of the Sun.
Australia’s Sunswift powered across the desert in Violet without a single mishap demonstrating both endurance and reliability.
Event Director Chris Selwood AM said today’s subjective judging by our eminent panel of experts will consider the desirability and appeal of this incredibly diverse field.
‘The results have the potential to influence the final outcome which will be revealed at the awards ceremony on Sunday night.
In the Challenger Class home-town team Adelaide University Solar Racing Team was welcomed home in Lumen II having completed more than 2720 kilometres under solar power, finishing in a very credible 15th position.
Stanford Solar Car Project, who experienced an unfortunate battery accident on the first day of the Challenge, also celebrated their efforts as they crossed the City of Adelaide Finish Line.
They were joined by teams celebrating on the finish line throughout the day.
Now, all of the 2019 BWSC Team cars are on display in Victoria Square until tomorrow at 3.00pm. The cars will be displayed in the middle of the Square from approximately midday, before they commence the car parade at 3.00pm, heading down Wakefield Street to Victoria Park.
Image via Bart Van Overbeeke/Solar Team Eindhoven
You can also see some of the best moments from the 2019 BWSC in our Photo Gallery.