As part of its support for the Formula Student Germany (FSG) competition, Bosch is supporting over 300 students to design and develop formula race cars. On July 8, the leading German components suppliers about 300 students from four countries to its proving ground in Boxberg to help them prepare their racing cars for the race that is scheduled to be held on the Hockenheimring circuit.
Bosch is providing support to these teams mainly in the form of expertise, software and hardware components.
Commenting on the venture, Bernhard Bihr, president of Bosch Engineering, a Bosch Group subsidiary that specializes in engineering services said that by participating in the Formula Student competition, students will be able to get valuable experience in project management, engineering and software.
Bosch has been a part of this race series for the past 10 years. As part of the race, students make their own race cars and race against each other in the “combustion,” “electric” and “driverless” categories. In addition to helming their cars, the students also have to present a detailed marketing concept and business plan to the panel of judges.
This Driverless competition class is a new segment that has been added to this year’s race. 15 teams will be taking part in this category in their automated race cars. In this segment, students will not only have to install additional technology and redesign the vehicle’s cable harness, but they will also have to program the algorithms that will make it possible for the car to negotiate the course on its own.
The students will need to have a fair understanding of the concept of an automated car and come up with algorithms that will make the car work. This is where the expert advice from the Bosch engineering team can make a difference as the Bosch engineers were able to help the students to understand the principles on which a self-driving car is based.
Automated vehicles need advanced technologies related to radar, laser, cameras and ultrasound to work well. Just like in modern driver assistance systems, software plays a key role in self-driving race cars. Software expertise has become particularly important when it comes to connected mobility. This is the main reason why Bosch has been supporting the event as Formula Student participants are ideally qualified for a career in software. According to Bihr, one in three Bosch engineers is concerned with software.
One example is Helena Ortwein, a technical project coordinator in ESP calibration at Bosch Engineering, who was a member of the University of Stuttgart’s race team for two years before she joined Bosch.
“Formula Student participants are characterized by passion, staying power and technical expertise,” said Ortwein. “For those taking part, it’s an ideal platform for getting into contact with potential employers.”
Bosch Engineering alone now employs some 90 former FSG participants.
About 115 teams will participate in the season’s opening contest in Hockenheim which is currently being held from August 8 to 13. Apart from the race series in Germany, other Formula Student competitions will take place around the world.
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