Fast Cars Go Driverless at the ZF Race Camp

Autonomous driving enters the Formula Student design competition as six driverless race cars will be hitting the track at the tenth annual ZF Race Camp.

They will be entered into the Formula Student Driverless race category which is new this season. Approximately 700 students will met on June 1 and 2 to prepare at ZF for the coming race season.

A total of 24 race teams from Germany, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy have registered for the ZF Race Camp. They will be put through their paces in various race disciplines and share their experiences. Thirty-two race cars will be lined up at the starting line – half of which will include electric race cars along with six driverless ones. In addition, more than 60 ZF engineers and experts from various departments across Germany and the Czech Republic will advise the teams in the run-up to the Formula Student Race Series and will share with them tips and tricks.

“Advances within digitalization and autonomous driving as future megatrends are creating disruption in the global automotive industry,” explains Jürgen Holeksa, board member responsible for Human Resources and Governance. “At ZF, we are actively shaping this change – not only through our wide-ranging product portfolio but also by actively supporting these new mobility solutions.”

To achieve success at the ZF Race Camp, students need technical and IT know-how and expertise as well as organizational, project management and budgeting skills.

“The event is an ideal platform for us to initiate discussions with dedicated young people,” says Martin Frick, head of ZF HR Marketing. By combining a solid engineering and IT education with a passion for the emotionally charged sport of race car driving is what makes this design competition so special. The new Formula Student Driverless race category presents the teams with entirely new challenges, emphasizes Frick. The current electric race cars may not have drivers but they are equipped with sensors and artificial intelligence which will help them master the track. The international competition held in August at Hockenheimring will determine which team has best and most safely mastered this new and uncharted territory.

ZF has been involved with Formula Student since 2002 and is currently sponsoring 39 university teams. In addition to sharing its expertise, ZF supports international young talent with high-tech racing products, financial assistance and team-building actions. Four years ago, the founders of the event also created the ZF Race Camp Talk as a platform for discussing and sharing ideas on current issues in the industry. This year, Stefan Pabst, philosopher and physicist at the Zürich Think Tank für Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft W.I.R.E. [Think Tank for Economics, Science and Society], will present and take questions on the topic “Transforming Transport – On the Vision of Intelligent Mobility”.

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