XJTLU students win at smart car racing competition

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Two teams of students from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University won second place and runner-up prizes at the 11th National University Students Smart Car Competition, East China division, held at Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology.

The smart car racing teams were named E-bridge and Gravitior and affiliated to InfoCo, a student device development club. Eight students from the Departments of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Computer Science and Software Engineering participated in this competition with the guidance of Dr Yang Du from EEE and PhD student Fei Cheng. The participants designed and made two smart car models which were based on different sensors, beginning 40 days after final exams.

PhD student Fei Cheng of EEE said: “Through this contest the students were able to apply their knowledge on circuits and programming. This is a very good gift for XJTLU’S 10th anniversary. I hope we can do even better in next year’s competition.”

The competition was to test the auto-drive capability of the student-designed and developed smart car models, and no remote devices were permitted. Students needed to build up a smart car model with electric circuit designs and computational algorithms.

The racing completion was largely dependent on the effectiveness of the algorithms to optimize car control and speed control, and the teams competed in two groups, namely the camera sensor group and the linear CCD sensor group.

Team Ebridge consisted of year-2 students Bohan Gan (2nd from left), Xiang Li (3rd from left) and Zhihe Zhao (1st from left), who raced with the model car with a camera as its sensor. This team won second prize.

Team Gravitior was made up of sophomores Junyu Mao (4th from left), Xiaotong Yu (5th from left), and Junkun Di (1st from right), who raced a model car with a linear CCD sensor. Due to the bad light in the stadium, many problems occurred. The three competitors struggled to repair their model car under great pressure, finally completing the race, and winning a runner-up prize.

Though they were not included on the entry list, freshmen Junyan Li (4th from right), who stayed up late to solder the print circuit boards for both teams, and Yiang Lu (2nd from right), who made a timer for the testing court, actively assisted the two teams in debugging their smart cars.

The competition was hosted by the Ministry of Education Automation Teaching Steering Committee, and attracted many students from top universities across China. This year was the first time for XJTLU to attend the competition. Students spent time during the summer holiday to complete preparations for the competition, including design of electric circuits, algorithms and programming adjustments.

Students were given support in the contest by the XJTLU Research Office and EEE Department. In addition, TREEE Science & Technology Co., Ltd and Help You Up provided technical support.

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