Estonian students are building the country’s first self-driving formula car

The Formula Student Team Tallinn, a joint project of Tallinn University of Technology and Tallinn University of Applied Sciences, is constructing a self-driving formula race car.

The Formula Student Team Tallinn is an 80-member student organisation that has already built an electric-powered formula car and is now constructing a self-driving formula car, due to be launched in spring 2019.

Student formulas have been around in the world for 30 years, but the self-driving category was only added two years ago. According to Rico Jaanipere, the captain of the Formula Student Team Tallinn Team, the aim of the international student formula competition is to provide young engineers with the challenges that come with the cutting-edge technology and ideas need to follow new trends. “Students have no prior experience and the necessary knowledge is learned during their work,” he said in a statement.

The rules of the self-driving formula stipulate that the car will compete on an unknown track, which the machine must independently map, and then make decisions that would normally be made by the driver. The self-driving race car of the Estonian Student Formula Team will be introduced at the beginning of the summer of 2019.

Participation in the project gives students the experience of designing and manufacturing the car, introducing young engineers to the economy of the automotive industry and teaching teamwork.

Currently, 49 teams of self-driving formula, 139 teams of electric formula and 556 teams of internal combustion engine formula are registered worldwide.

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Cover: The electric-powered formula car built by the Formula Student Team Tallinn.

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About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and Politics & Society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter. You can write to Silver at silver@estonianworld.com.