We, as a driver, decide the speed and the route while driving. We don’t have the assistance of a strategist that decides the speed (well, maybe an annoying passenger that thinks he/she can give the orders). The DMU controls Red One, but why? The driver is skilled enough to fully operate the solar car, right?
The ‘brain’ of the race
The drivers would probably like this twist, having total control. In contrast to what most people think, the driver doesn’t decide the speed of the solar car. This is the task of the DMU, which is the ‘brain’ of the race. All the strategic decisions are made at the DMU (decision making unit).
Incomes and outcomes
The sensors of the solar car measure the level of energy that the solar panel generates, also how much energy the motor takes. Consumption may depend on head wind and clouds will negatively affect the solar energy. It is important that the battery saved energy so that speed can be maintained in these situations.
Data coming from the solar car is transferred to the DMU through a wireless connection. The data will be viewed by the data acquisist and passed on to the strategist. A satellite gives the weather forecast, which is analyzed and interpreted by a meteorologist, who passes it on to the strategist. All the information, including the weather forecast and the energy consumption, are input for the strategist to calculate the optimal speed for Red One.
Pilot also drives
The amount of detailed information would be too much for the driver to be processed, certainly not in combination with driving. The DMU doesn’t have total control over the solar car, the driver does the steering and hits the brake when something goes wrong. This division of duties will help to get the best out of Red One!
Updates Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2015
Curious about the current situation of Solar Team Twente? Take a look at this page for updates
pictures header: Jérôme Wassenaar