Students at the Canadian University in Dubai have collaborated on a project to develop a solar-powered driverless car. The vehicle, completely fueled by the sun’s energy, was designed to be used for transport between the university’s two campus buildings in City Walk.
Collaborative Efforts for Innovation
The project brought together 22 senior students from the university’s school of engineering, applied science, and technology. Working in teams, the undergraduate engineers focused on various aspects of the car’s development. It includes the navigation system, power capacity, bodywork, and chassis.
The car displayed at the university as a proof of concept design. It has the potential to serve a practical purpose on the roads in the near future. The innovative vehicle was developed as part of the students’ graduation program. Moreover, with each group responsible for different technical aspects of the manufacturing process.
Feras Usmani, an electrical engineering and mechatronics student, highlighted the challenge of integrating all the car’s systems into one cohesive unit. Furthermore, the guidance from professors, effective teamwork, and strong engineering skills were instrumental in the success of the car’s development.
Moreover, one group focused on the central processing design, managing the car’s controls and handling inputs from the camera and light detection and ranging (Lidar) system sensors, which serve as the car’s core intelligence. Another group was responsible for the power supply to the electronic devices, utilizing a photovoltaic panel on the roof to charge the traction battery and provide a 60-volt power supply.
The project not only showcased the students’ theoretical knowledge but also provided them with valuable interpersonal skills and technical expertise. Dr. Salih Rashid Majeed, assistant professor in CUD’s school of engineering, applied science, and technology, emphasized the real-world application of theoretical knowledge and the significance of teamwork in engineering.
Dubai’s advancements in autonomous vehicle technology have positioned the UAE as a front-runner in this field. Self-driving cars offer the potential for improved road safety, traffic efficiency, and reduced carbon emissions. With projects like the solar-powered driverless car, Dubai is leveraging its natural resources to support the transition to autonomous transport.