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Monash University develops Australia’s first student-built driverless race car

Photo Credit: Monash University

The students from the Monash University’s Monash Motorsport are pushing the boundaries of automotive technology.

According to a recent press release, they have created Australia’s first student-built driverless race car equipped to compete against the world’s best Formula Student teams in the driverless category.

Background of the initiative

The driverless race car, the M19-D, is the result of collaboration among some of the brightest minds across the University’s diverse faculties.

They worked together from developing complex computer-vision algorithms to designing robust actuation hardware.

According to the Motorsport’s Chief Executive Officer, the M19-D was more than three years’ in the making, and is competition-ready for the Formula Student driverless competition in Germany in 2020.

Development on the driverless race car began in 2016, with over 200 undergraduate students from the University working tirelessly to bring it to fruition.

The M19-D

The talented team designed and built its innovative and high-performance features to create the state-of-the-art driverless vehicle.

The vehicle has several key features which include:

  1. The ability to detect the racetrack and perceive the environment in real time
  2. An advanced laser scanner, also known as a LiDAR unit
  3. A stereoscopic camera system that can perceive distance similar to the human eye, using artificial intelligence (AI)
  4. A proven electric powertrain with more than 1000km of on-track testing
  5. A GPS unit that can accurately locate the race car within a 10cm radius
  6. An Emergency Braking System with complete redundancy in case of a vehicle fault

The Faculty of Engineering’s Director of Student Teams complimented the students for an outstanding job in building the M19-D. This is a true testament to their tenacity and commitment.

Monash Motorsport

The Dean of Engineering described the Monash Motorsport as a leading example of the type of internationally competitive, multidisciplinary and entrepreneurial student teams that the University has to offer.

The students from this team are highly capable designers and competitors, with almost two decades of experience in vehicle design innovation within a successful student-led enterprise.

In debuting Australia’s first student-built autonomous race car, the students have also proven their capability to lead innovation in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, computer vision and machine learning, well before they have even graduated.

Monash Motorsport is a student-run team comprising more than 130 active members who design, build, test, and race Formula SAE cars in Australia and across the globe.

Competing since 2000, Monash ranks second in the world in the internal combustion category, and broke ground recently by ranking seventh in the world with its first electric vehicle.

Student teams offer outstanding opportunities for the students to develop technical, employability and entrepreneurial skills on a truly international scale.

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