Engineering students from around the world will compete this week in the 20e Formula SAE-Australasia (FSAE-A) event at Winton in Victoria.
Formula SAE is an annual competition in which teams of engineering students from universities around the world design, build and compete an open-wheel racing car according to a set of strict design rules called âFormula SAEâ.
This year’s FSAE-A – which is the Australasian regional event – will take place Thursday through Sunday at the Winton Circuit and feature 34 individual vehicles from 28 universities, including foreign entries from New Zealand, India, Japan, Pakistan and Poland.
Seeking everyone like a mini F1 car (or a kart on steroids), the teams take part in a series of static and dynamic events over four days (including in front of a design jury), which includes the final two days of track events.
Points are awarded for each event as well as for design and system analyzes submitted, with the winner being the team with the most points at the end of the event.
FSAE’s history dates back to the 1980s, when it began in the United States as a competition class for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles developed by students.
Since then it has grown into a global competition, with a second category (for electric propulsion) which was added about ten years ago. This category has rapidly expanded to the point that this year, for the first time, half of all FSAE-A vehicles are electric vehicles.
New for this year will be a demo event showcasing autonomous FSAE vehicle prototypes, with a view to their potential addition as third competition class for 2020.
Entrance to the event is free and the public is welcome to attend. The best days to attend are Saturday December 6th and Sunday 7th when the main track events take place. (The acceleration, skidding and braking events are on Saturday 6th and autocross plus the 22km endurance race on Sunday 7th).
Bryce Gaton is an electric vehicle expert and contributor to The Driven and Renew the economy. He has been working in the electric vehicle industry since 2008 and is currently working as an electric vehicle electrical safety trainer / supervisor for the University of Melbourne. He also provides EV transition support to businesses, government and the public through his EV transition consultancy. Echoice.