A grueling 3,022 kilometer race across Australia’s unforgiving outback with the sun as the only source of energy: welcome to the World Solar Challenge 2017. Ericsson has once again partnered with Solar Team Eindhoven to provide innovating and winning technology.
Leading the pack is familiar to Solar Team Eindhoven. The multidisciplinary team of 21 students from the Technical University Eindhoven the Netherlands has won the Cruiser Class division of the competition twice in the past.
But past achievements never guarantee future triumphs – and competitors have been hard at work for the 2017 race to employ new designs and integrate new technologies to challenge the reigning champions. Solar Team Eindhoven and Ericsson have also been updating technologies in this year’s car – Stella Vie – to stay one step ahead of the competition.
New car, new technology
In 2015, Solar Team Eindhoven won the Cruiser Class with their Stella Lux solar car. Built on Ericsson’s Connected Urban Transport solution, Stella Lux used the ‘Solar Navigator’ cloud-based platform that provided data to Ericsson’s Connected Urban Transport Solution which aggregated in-car data, traffic data and weather data, to perform in-depth analytics and optimized the route.
This year, Stella Vie has been upgraded with a re-designed Solar Navigator platform. The core of the solution is built on Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator platform.
Solar Navigator now takes height profile maps into account, finds the most efficient route and shows drivers how much energy is saved compared to a standard, fossil fuel-powered car.
The app is designed to show advantages in using solar power in the car of the future. For example, when approaching the destination, Stella Vie will offer parking assistance via the Solar Parking app, which uses height maps, weather data and a parking probability map to guide drivers to a free parking spot which yields the most solar energy.
Taking economic driving to the next level
Stella Vie uses the latest vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology to warn the driver and anticipate upcoming traffic events, allowing for safer and more efficient driving. It also encourages the user to drive as efficiently as possible by giving feedback through a built-in lighting system, warning the driver by turning red when either braking or accelerating too fiercely and using up battery life.
Using Ericsson’s Solar Navigator, Stella Vie is headed for success in the Australian outback by ensuring:
- Unrequired acceleration is avoided by optimizing routes around traffic congestions and by taking traffic flows into account.
- Local weather conditions along the route are considered, enabling the best energy contribution of the solar panels and lowest resistance from rainfall, as well as suggesting an optimal route to harness the power of the sun.
- In-car energy levels are continuously monitored to predict the range and energy levels at destination.