Dubai: A team of 22 senior engineering students from Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has unveiled an extraordinary creation, an autonomous car solely powered by solar energy.
This remarkable vehicle stands as a testament to a year’s worth of collaborative efforts from the university’s School of Engineering, Applied Science, and Technology. With their pioneering work, they are propelling the future of urban transportation to new heights.
Developed as part of their graduation program, five separate technical groups collaborated on the project, each responsible for a particular aspect of the manufacturing process. The first team engineered the steering and braking of the car, the second team led the bodyshell design, material selection, and suspension system development. The third team was tasked with the central processing design, managing the vehicle’s controls, as well as handling the inputs received from the camera and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system sensors, which serve as the car’s core intelligence.
A fourth team developed the vehicle’s smart navigation, configuring the LIDAR and camera system to ensure precise obstacle detection and avoidance, while the fifth team was responsible for the supply of power to all the car’s onboard electronic devices, utilizing the photovoltaic panel installed on the vehicle’s roof. This was achieved through a uniquely designed power conditioner that charges the traction battery, delivering a 60-volt power supply to the car.
Mr. Feras Ahmed Usmani, a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics student stated, “The greatest challenge was the merging of all the systems into one cohesive car that met our project requirements. For example, ensuring the integration of the steering system and enabling the Central Processing Unit to receive commands from the control centers. The guidance from our Professors, effective student teamwork, and strong engineering skills were fundamental to the success of all the car’s developments.”