PARIS – The Freescale Cup - Intelligent Car Racing organized by Freescale Semiconductor Inc. in collaboration with the ESIEE Engineering School, Paris, France, was another occasion to create an ecosystem for innovation and approach the innovators of tomorrow.
For the competition, students were asked to build, program and race a model car around a track for speed, given that the fastest car to complete the track without derailing, wins. Freescale provided technical support, model car kits and development tools based on the company's MCU technology to develop the prototype racing car.
In this second edition of the Freescale Cup, 27 university teams from Czech Republic, France, Italy, UK, Slovak Republic, Romania, Russia, Germany, Poland and Ukraine met late March at ESIEE to compete for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) title. In a discussion with EETimes
, Flavio Stiffan (pictured left
), director of University Programs Europe, Middle-East and Africa, at Freescale Semiconductor Inc., presented the event as an opportunity for students to learn about electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering as well as building team work skills.
EETimes: For the Freescale Cup finals 2013, each team of maximum three students started working on their cars in Oct. 2012 with the choice of Freescale Kinetis K40 or Qorivva MPC5604B MCU board to make their car the fastest on the race track.
Each team had to design the software control scheme, the racing car system hardware, the wireless communications and the human machine interface (HMI). The software had to include camera imaging collection and processing, drive motor control, steering motor control algorithm, wireless communication and HMI development.
Since all teams received the same Freescale Cup kit, could you please tell explain what made a difference?
Each team has worked in deciding where and how to proceed with the camera placement. Some teams added some LED lighting to help compensate for light conditions changes. Many areas of improvement on the software side have been dealt differently from one team to another. Finally, some teams have implemented a better active braking system than others.
EETimes: What made their racing car quicker, more precise, smarter?
The teams have worked on how to anticipate curves, hills and crossings in different ways. The efficiency of the code written with different sets of priorities have made the difference in how fast a car can go and brake at the right time before a curve or accelerate through a chicane.
Freescale Cup's racing track parameters