Formula Student: Edinburgh team tops leaderboard for driverless software

Edinburgh University Formula Student at Silverstone racetrack for the Formula Student competition,
Edinburgh University Formula Student at Silverstone racetrack for the Formula Student competition,

Edinburgh University Formula Student (EUFS) were recently crowned top student team in the UK for driverless vehicle software at the annual Formula Student competition.

The prestigious summer event, held at Silverstone Racetrack, invites students from universities across the world to compete across different race car challenges – offering an opportunity to apply engineering knowledge to real scenarios while gaining skills in project management and business planning.

Organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the event is seen by industry as a testing ground for the engineering stars of the future, and a kitemark of authentic motorsport engineering experience.

EUFS is the University of Edinburgh’s student society dedicated to automotive technologies. With a large and diverse membership of over 100 students from 11 different schools across the University, the group works throughout the year to design and assemble a Formula One-style race car, alongside a driverless vehicle and AI software, to compete at the event.

Competition results

The Edinburgh team were one of around 60 teams from countries including Germany, Spain, Ireland and India, and entered the following two categories.

  • Dynamic Driving Task (DDT): Over the past year, the DDT team have developed software to ‘instruct’ a driverless car to manoeuvre on the track. During the competition, the team mounted sensors to a driverless vehicle provided by the IMechE, to tell it to accelerate, brake, change direction, and sense its surroundings. They won three out of four categories of the DDT division, impressing the judges with how well their software performed across acceleration, braking, steering, handling, and driving dynamics on the track.
  • Formula Student (FS) Class: The FS-Class team designed and built a single-seat F1-style racing car from scratch. The Edinburgh team were one of only around 20 to pass the ‘scrutineering’ stage of the competition, a series of rigorous tests performed by IMechE mechanics to confirm the vehicle’s safety and roadworthiness. Although a last-minute technical issue prevented the FS-Class Team from progressing to the track, the team benefited from significant learning and problem solving experiences in the garage.

The team have also been working on a driverless vehicle for the Automated Driving System (ADS) division of the competition. The car could not compete this year due to a delayed shipment of critical components, however the team are looking forward to showcasing their driverless offering at next year’s event.

EUFS President and third year mechanical engineering student Oliver Simpson said: "It was great to see the year’s hard work come to fruition at Silverstone, culminating with the driverless team becoming the most successful team at Formula Student UK 2022.

“It was a huge accomplishment to win so many trophies, however I'm most proud of the perseverance and determination of the EUFS team, who displayed impressive intuition and character when facing unfamiliar obstacles in the garage."

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