Student team eForce unveils new autonomous electro formula with improved aerodynamics

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The new autonomous electroformula developed by the eForce Prague Formula student team has several major differences from last year's model. For example, technological innovations improve the aerodynamics of the car. Today, the team members presented the Formula at a ceremony in the Škoda Museum in Mladá Boleslav. The first of a series of four races this year awaits the pilots of the team in July. The team consists mainly of students from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of CTU and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of CTU.

"Compared to last year's autonomous eForce, we have practically rebuilt the entire car," said Jakub Kaplický, head of the eForce PR group. Probably the most important new feature is the brand-new monocoque. "It took us a lot of time to create the new monocoque mould and it's made in such a way that it can be recycled for the next three to four cars - with slight modifications, depending on what the competition rules require," Kaplický explained. 

Jakub Kaplický then mentioned the active suction technology, which is supposed to provide the formula with higher downforce at lower speeds. "This system has not been used on any of the previous models, but some foreign teams have already driven formulae with this modification," he emphasized. "And even though we are competitors as teams, we talk to each other. If a person asks, he gets an engineering answer and then it is up to us how we implement the novelty in our formula," Kaplicky stated.

The development of autonomous systems for the new season has been greatly facilitated by the simulation environment that the eForce team has been developing extensively over the last year. "During this year, the simulator has undergone several major changes, for example, it allows testing algorithms faster than in real-time, which leads to much more efficient development. The autonomous system is getting closer and closer to the driving capabilities of a real pilot," Kaplicky described. On the first lap of a race, the system maps the entire course and uses the data to calculate the ideal race track, much like a real pilot would. "The formula then evaluates what speed it can drive in each section and how it should behave in those sections to achieve the best possible performance," Kaplický added.

The eForce team is already clear about this year's racing season plan. "Our first competition is in mid-July in Austria, it is one of the more prestigious races. Here we will compete mainly with Austrian and German teams - our biggest competition. This race will be our stress test," said Jakub Kaplický. "After that, we have a race in the Czech Republic and then in Germany at the beginning of August. Our last race this year will be in Italy in September," Kaplický summarized.

In the autumn of 2023, the eForce FEE Prague Formula teams from FEE CTU and CTU CarTech from FME CTU joined forces precisely to compete with the best student teams from Munich and Stuttgart in the development of autonomous electro formulas and in races. The strengthened team now goes under the name of eForce Prague Formula, but the formula will have a red and blue design like the CTU CarTech cars. Before this merger, the eForce team launched its first fusion of autonomous and piloted electric formula last June. 

Photos: Petr Neugebauer.

Responsible person Ing. Mgr. Radovan Suk