Solar Team Eindhoven has won the 2017 World Solar Challenge Cruiser Class Division in their Stella Vie solar car, with Ericsson’s Solar Navigator platform proving to be a critical factor in success.
Taking just six days, Stella Vie blazed 3,022 kilometers across the Australian outback from Darwin to Adelaide. Supported by a multidisciplinary team of 21 students from the Technical University Eindhoven the Netherlands, the car has proved to the world commercial solar cars are not only viable, but they could soon be a reality.
At the heart of Stella Vie is the unique Solar Navigator platform, an innovative application that uses Ericsson’s Connected Urban Transport solution and is powered by Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator platform.
The app aggregates in-car data, traffic data and weather data, to perform in-depth analytics and optimize the route. It also 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.
Through the Solar Parking app, which uses height maps, weather data and a parking probability map, drivers are guided to a free parking spot which yields the most solar energy. 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.
Stella Vie finished the event with a full 80 points of efficiency, over 2 times the amount of second place Bochum (38), with the Arrow team finishing third on 20.6.
Speaking on the Cruiser Class Division and Solar Team Eindhoven’s win, Event Director Chris Selwood said: “These incredible solar cars have been designed with the commercial market in mind and have all the features you’d expect in a family, luxury or sporting car.
“Team Eindhoven are to be congratulated on their achievement to date – clearly the most energy efficient solar car in the field, capable of generating more power than they consume. This is the future of solar electric vehicles. When your car is parked at home it can be charging and supplying energy back to the grid.”