By Lana Guineay
From petrol power to sustainable solar – there’s a transport energy revolution going on, and a team from Flinders University are helping to drive change.
But they need your help.
They’re (aptly) called FAST – Flinders Automotive Solar Team – a diverse and passionate group of students, staff and volunteers who have spent the last two years developing a solar-powered family car as their first entry in the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge this October.
To complete their vision to get a drive-able vehicle on the road in time, they’re inviting supporters to help power them on their way via a crowdfunding campaign.
The bi-annual Bridgestone World Solar Challenge sees the best and brightest teams from around the world test their ideas on the road – driving their sustainable transport 3,000 kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide.
Based at the cutting-edge Tonsley Innovation Precinct, the Flinders team has been working with industry partners and leading researchers to design their entry in the Cruiser passenger class – continuing a university tradition of electric car-making, says FAST leader Dr Stuart Wildy.
“Flinders teams have been building electric and other road vehicles since 1974,” says Dr Wildy, a mechanical engineering lecturer at Flinders. “For our latest car, we have designed and now sourcing components to not only win the challenge but to be part of a cleaner, more sustainable transport system in the future,” Dr Wildy says.
Dr Wildy says the team has developed new solar technology, regenerative suspension, and even artificial intelligence in its electronic and computer design.
“They’re now excited to get their automotive technologies in the spotlight through the international event in October – and play a part to improve the efficiency of future electric and autonomous vehicles,” he says.
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge not only gives the South Australian students an invaluable chance to participate in an event on the world stage, but is an opportunity to make an impact on the technology industry in the state – and create a more sustainable future for all of us.
Watch the video below to find out more – and support their crowdfunding campaign here.