BASF And Hyundai Motor Showcase RN30 Concept Car At K Fair

A new concept vehicle jointly developed by BASF and Hyundai Motor combines key solutions from the chemical industry with purposeful aerodynamic design and specialized high-performance technologies. Both companies will present outstanding features of the RN30 Concept Car at the 2016 K Fair in Dusseldorf from 19-26 October.

“We are very proud to be a vital part of the RN30,” said Raimar Jahn, President of Performance Materials at BASF. “Based on our great partnership and our innovation power, Hyundai Motor has invited us to demonstrate the capabilities of our materials in this unique concept.” This new Concept Car was created to offer pure driving pleasure on the race track for everybody. BASF’s material solutions helped Hyundai to realize even the most daring design ideas based on its impressive product portfolio and car enthusiasm.

Lightweight plastics for efficient performance

As a racing machine designed for race tracks, it is essential for the RN30 to be lightweight and have a low center of gravity in order to swiftly cover the steep corners of the track. While high-performance cars generally contain carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) to reduce weight, the partners moved away from the fixed idea of using CFRP. Instead they explored new lightweight materials by BASF suitable for high-performance cars as alternative.

For example, due to their outstanding flowability, BASF’s Elastolit® rigid integral foam and reaction injection molding (RIM) systems developed for body panels permit the realization of even those most challenging designs like the fender and spoiler of the RN30. Combining high quality with low weight, they can even directly be painted thanks to their Class A surface. The RN30 also features semi-structural sandwich solutions for the trunk floor, providing a considerable weight reduction as well as a highly efficient production process. BASF’s Elastoflex® E, a spray impregnation polyurethane for very light and stiff sandwich structures consisting of a long-fiber reinforced surface layer and a paper honeycomb is the ideal material for these applications.

Durable materials for maximum safety

When driving at maximum speed, drivers have to rely on the uncompromising quality of durable and reliable materials. BASF’s Infinergy® is the world’s first expanded thermoplastic polyurethane. Combined with an elastic coating it is used in the roll bar padding of the RN30 because of its long term durability and outstanding resilience. But speed is nothing without control. Thus, fast cars also need high performance brake systems. BASF has developed a breakthrough technology, Hydraulan® 406 ESI, which exceeds all technical challenges and fulfills demanding legislative requirements by extending the durability of the brake elastomer. 

For the ever more complex and compact electronic assemblies of the RN30, BASF’s new Ultramid® Advanced N allows for miniaturization, functional integration and freedom of design. It can be used in electronic components as well as structural parts near the engine and the gearbox in contact with hot, aggressive media and different fuels.

An interior design optimized for racing experiences

During the interior design process, RN30 designers and racing experts from Hyundai Motorsport worked closely together to deliver a layout that helps the driver focus his attention more intensely on driving. A bucket seat for racing, which perfectly fits the driver’s body and an integrated roll cage, which increases the vehicle body strength, protect the driver in precarious situations.

For those parts with complex geometry such as the seat shell and pan, BASF offers Ultracom®, a thermoplastic composite system for parts with continuous fiber reinforcement in injection-molded structures. This allows the seat to be lighter while still maintaining optimum strength and rigidity. The seat shell and pan owe their final shape to a matched combination of semi-finished products like tapes or laminates and injection-molding compounds. In the realization of such parts, BASF’s unique simulation tool Ultrasim®, as well as its Ultratestâ„¢ parts testing facilities and processing technologies play a major role across the entire process chain of seat component production. 

Efficient heat management and natural fibers contribute to sustainability

Race cars are reduced to the maximum to avoid any unnecessary ballast weight such as air conditioning. Keeping the car still cool and comfortable can be achieved with heat management solutions like BASF’s near infrared-reflective films, protecting windows of the RN30 against solar heat. The entirely organic and transparent film has an advantage over metal films, in that it is designed to filter out only infrared rays while allowing other rays such as light, GPS and telephone signals to pass through. 

The water-based binder Acrodur® strengthens the natural fibers and enables an environmentally compatible, dimensionally stable and, above all, lightweight solution for car composites such as dashboards and door panels of the RN30 which can be finished in various ways for high-quality design. 

Color and coating solutions for unlimited design options

Color inspires imagination and individualization. BASF’s waterborne ColorPro IC “Performance Blue” is one of the latest generation of individual colors with broad color spectrum, flexibility and unmatched quality. It gives the RN30 its dazzling appearance. In addition, BASF’s innovative iGloss® clearcoat with an advanced easy-to-clean effect helps to minimize microscratches significantly. In the interior, BASF’s patented transfer coating technology valure™ produces high-quality surfaces with almost limitless design options as well as unique material combinations with a wide variety of flexible substrates, like leather, in automotive interiors. The coated surface remains breathable and feels soft.

From concept to reality: experiencing chemistry-driven solutions in the New Generation Hyundai i30

The New Generation Hyundai i30 – “a car for everyone” and available in early 2017 – reveals how BASF’s solutions convert concepts into reality. BASF’s engineering plastic Ultramid® still sets standards in innovation and global availability in established plastic applications for powertrain and chassis such as the transmission oil pan, cylinder head cover and air intake manifold in the i30.

BASF is a key partner to the automotive industry in efforts to reduce harmful emissions from cars with combustion engines. The EMPROâ„¢ TWC (Three-Way Conversion) catalyst technology used in the i30 significantly outperforms conventional three-way conversion catalysts in the conversion of hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) over a wide range of conditions. 

Catamold® is a feedstock for metal injection molding technology. It is used in the production of dual clutch transmission parts for the i30 because it is 50 per cent lighter than traditional precision casting feedstocks and provides greater design freedom. Cellasto® microcellular polyurethane elastomers are used to make jounce bumpers and top mounts. They help to minimize noise, vibrations and harshness and in that way enhance driving comfort in the i30.

Click the image for a higher quality version

 

Singapore Hosts First Driverless Taxi

nuTonomy, a developer of software for self-driving cars, has launched a public trial of a robo-taxi service. The trial, which will continue on an on-going basis, is being held within Singapore’s one-north business district, where nuTonomy has been conducting daily autonomous vehicle (AV) testing since April.

Select Singapore residents will be invited to use nuTonomy’s ride-hailing smartphone app to book a no-cost ride in a nuTonomy self-driving car that employs the company’s software, which has been integrated with high-performance sensing and computing components. The rides will be provided in a Renault Zoe or Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicle that nuTonomy has specially configured for autonomous driving. An engineer from nuTonomy will ride in the vehicle to observe system performance and assume control if needed to ensure passenger comfort and safety.

Throughout the trial, nuTonomy will collect and evaluate valuable data related to software system performance, vehicle routing efficiency, the vehicle booking process, and the overall passenger experience. This data will enable nuTonomy to refine its software in preparation for the launch of a widely-available commercial robo-taxi service in Singapore in 2018.

Earlier this month, nuTonomy was selected by the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) as an R&D partner, to support the development of a commercial AV service in Singapore. This trial represents the first, rapid result of this partnership. nuTonomy is the first, and to date only, private enterprise approved by the Singapore government to test AVs on public roads.

In May of this year, nuTonomy completed a $16M Series A funding led by Highland Capital Partners that included participation from Fontinalis Partners, Signal Ventures, Samsung Ventures, and EDBI, the dedicated corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

 In addition to Singapore, nuTonomy is operating self-driving cars in Michigan and the United Kingdom, where it tests software in partnership with major automotive manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover.

For more information, visit http://nutonomy.com/

Axalta Launches Syrox, A New Refinish Brand

Axalta has launched Syrox, the latest brand in its refinish portfolio. Designed with new European formulations specifically for the mainstream aftermarket segment, Syrox is a complete and compact refinish paint system, including a waterborne basecoat, developed for passenger car repairs.

The Syrox refinish system provides a cost-effective alternative to premium product offerings. With a compact yet complete portfolio of paint products, Syrox is easy to use and to apply. New users will find the application technique of single coats with intermediate flash-off times reassuringly familiar. Coverage can be achieved in two coats plus one effect coat. What sets Syrox apart, in addition to its complete and compact system, is its exceptional colour matching, thanks to Axalta’s established and proven spectrophotometer technology and substantial global database of colour formulas. Together, these two tools give Syrox users an advantage in the body shop, helping to deliver, fast, easy and accurate colour-matching quality.

Syrox packaging is a first for the refinish industry. The design of the plastic basecoat bottles incorporates a special dosing lid that is designed to allow for extraordinarily accurate pouring, even down to a single drop of paint. The level indicator window on the side of the bottles lets users see when contents are getting low, and the flat-topped bottle caps that cover the dosing lids enable the bottles to stand and to be stored upside down so every drop of product can be used. The bottles come in convenient smaller volume sizes and only need a shake before use.

“The innovations that Syrox offers its users reflect what we’ve heard from our customers,” says Matthias Schönberg, Vice President of Axalta and President for Axalta’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region. “We identified a demand for a straight-forward, conventionally-applied refinish system that is economical to use and delivers accurate colour matches. The result is Syrox, which promises no compromises on colour or on quality. A complete all-rounder, Syrox is a refinish paint system that is suitable for body shops of any size that must comply with national or regional legislation on emissions of harmful volatile organic compounds, and those who are not reliant on OEM approvals.”

Syrox is the result of Axalta’s approach to research and development, a wholly new brand formulated to fulfil specific demands of customers. Syrox is manufactured in Europe, and will be launched in selected VOC-compliant markets in that region, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, China and other parts of Asia, throughout 2016.

Win A Dominator Kit

Valspar Automotive Australia is pleased to announce its “Why Do you Need Dominator?” competition! There is over $1000 worth of prizes to be won!

Prizes on offer

Win 1 of 5 Dominator Kits. The winner may choose between a black or tintable kit.

How to enter

Simply take a photo of an object that is in need of Dominator Urethane Liner and post the photo to the Valspar Automotive Australia Facebook wall with an explanation why. There are no limitations on how many times you can enter or what items you can submit, so get creative!

Entries will be judged on practicality and creativity.

Terms and conditions

To be eligible you must be an Australia resident over the age of 18. All entries must list why they need Dominator Urethane Liner. Multiple entries are allowed, however there is a maximum of one prize per person.

For full Terms and Conditions visit www.valsparautomotive.com.au/terms-and-conditions

Closing date

Competition closes on Monday 1st August 2016 at 23:59:59 AEST. Winners will be notified on 2nd August 2016.

Competition is conducted by Valspar Automotive Australia Pty Ltd. ABN 41080461230

Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Nothing Gets Through The Dominator

They say it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog. Bad news for the other dogs, Dominator has both. The urethane based Dominator Tray and Body Liner features superior coverage, outstanding chalking resistance and easy application with a tintable formula option. Dominator sets a new standard in resin technology for unmatched toughness, solvent resistance and durability.

Dominator Features
No measuring necessary

The Dominator mixing process involves simply mixing part A with part B. As no measuring is required, the process saves time and reduces potential for mistakes.

Excellent UV durability

In a 1000 hour UV lab test, Dominator out performed other products on the market by retaining its rich deep colour whilst the others started to noticeably chalk and fade.

Excellent colour match on tintable product

Dominator is closer to the solid colour OEM finish colour match than other competitors in the market with only 10 pre cent tintload.

Superior gloss

Dominator has noticeably higher gloss which helps to make the finish closer to the sheen of the OEM finish especially on the tintable version. In a 1000 hour UV lab test the leading market competitor lost 38 per cent of its gloss while Dominator only lost one per cent. So not only does Dominator start with more gloss, it also continues to look better for longer.

High solvent resistance

No need to worry about leaks while hauling! Dominator is resistant to a wide range of common solvents and chemicals ensuring a long lasting durable finish.

Textured high build finish

Dominator’s textured high build finish gives you the highest level of protection, yet with still excellent coverage rates. The textured finish not only looks good but hides minor surface imperfections. One kit will cover a standard ute tray (approx. 6.5m2).

Long pot life

Dominator has a 45 minute pot life (working time) which allows for time for touch-ups, which are sometimes necessary. For more information on Dominator, speak with your local Valspar Automotive distributor or contact Valspar Automotive on (02) 4368 4054.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team Relies On Spies Hecker

Mercedes-AMG Petronas, the reigning World Constructors’ Champions based in Brackley, England, is passionate about the Spies Hecker paint used on its race cars and team trucks. Spies Hecker is one of the three global premium brands of Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings.

“It’s important that the race cars look great on the track and that our sponsors’ logos are displayed clearly. But what is exceptionally critical for us are the weight of the paint, the speed of its application and the ability of the entire paint system to be used over and over again, all season, season after season, with the same great results. Spies Hecker delivers that for us,” says Andrew Moody, Head of Paint and Graphics, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team.

This season – which sees 21 Grands Prix over eight months – the W07 car, in addition to new external body parts and wings, is sporting a new design in the instantly-recognisable colours from 2015. The 2016 race car has eight colours, none of which are commercially available: three shades of green and five shades of the main colour, called Stirling Silver, after Stirling Moss who drove for Mercedes in 1955.

Thousands of hours and thousands of parts

With such an intricate livery on the car, Moody and his team face tough challenges. “It takes about 150 hours to paint a race car, with the nose and rear wing each taking about 12 hours,” says Moody.

Over the course of this season, they will paint literally thousands of panels and components, sometimes as many as 150 in one week. “The speed of application and reliability is essential; we don’t have time to accept anything less than perfect,” he says.

Work to smooth

Each part, particularly the aerodynamically-sensitive parts, requires a huge amount of attention to detail. The substrates of the race car vary depending on whether they are of a structural or of a cosmetic nature, and this impacts how the part is painted and its bake cycle. But regardless of the part or of the substrate, two things always hold true.

“For us everything is about weight and aerodynamics. Carbon fibre, for example, can be tricky, as it can be porous. So we have to get a lovely finish with the minimum weight of paint. The acceptable tolerances for an aerodynamic part might be 0.3mm, which would be miniscule for most refinishers. That can be hard to determine visually in the spray booth, so we have a “work to smooth” rule,” explains Moody.

The team in Paint and Graphics use a variety of Spies Hecker products on the race cars, which can all be used by bodyshops in their everyday work. The team often start with Priomat® Wash Primer 4075. Permasolid® HS Vario Primer Surfacer 5340, or Permasolid® HS Performance Surfacer 5320 are then used before the application of Permahyd® Hi-TEC Base Coat 480.

Moody says, “we finish the components off with one of two Spies Hecker clearcoats. Permasolid® HS Optimum Plus Clear Coat 8650 is a hugely reliable clearcoat and we use it on many parts. But for parts we need to get done and dried quickly, we trust the new Permasolid® HS Speed Clear Coat 8800. It’s a fantastic High Solids clearcoat that’s very, very fast.”

To ensure the race cars remain as aerodynamically sound as possible, 80 per cent of the sponsors’ logos are airbrushed onto the paint, including the iconic Mercedes-Benz star on the front of the nose.

“Airbrushing the star is a fantastically creative skill, but we need repeatability, consistency and accuracy. The star takes nearly an hour to complete, and there are 30 different stages in the process, but only four colours: blue, brown, white and black.”

Work doesn’t stop after the race

After every race, the Build Department strips the cars and then the individual parts are sent to Moody’s team in the paint shop. The parts are checked carefully and then usually repainted.

It may seem rather excessive to refinish the entire car after every race, but as Moody explains, there are valid reasons for it. “Consider qualifying or racing somewhere like Abu Dhabi or Bahrain, where there is a lot of sand in the air. Given the speeds at which the cars go, the paint can almost look sandblasted after a while on track. Or, if a piece of gravel hits our car, it can take a piece out of the body, or can cause craters and nicks in the paint, which certainly will interfere with our aerodynamics. It goes back to how aerodynamically important it is to “work to smooth”, even after a race.”

Not just race cars

Spies Hecker paint isn’t reserved just for the race cars though. There are eight team trucks that are painted with Spies Hecker about every two years. And Moody’s team paints hundreds, if not thousands, of garage and hospitality boards, as well as everything from grid trollies and water bottles, to the engineer’s station on the pit wall.

Joachim Hinz, Spies Hecker Brand Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, says, “we have a long-standing relationship with Andrew Moody and his team so we understand the pressure they are under and, in turn, the requirement that our products must meet, day after day, season after season. We’re very proud that we can deliver the results they need so that the team can deliver on the track.”

New DNA Custom Paints Fluorescent Basecoats

DNA Custom Paints says that customer feedback has led to a new range of Fluorescent Basecoats being released. After many emails, phone calls and requests for fluorescent colours, DNA has now released its latest custom creation for 2016. Five new fluorescent colour basecoats – Green, Yellow, Orange, Red and Pink – have been added to the ever growing range of Australian-made custom paints. The new fluorescent basecoats are high quality, easy to use and affordable.
DNA Technical & Training Manager Josh Schuster says that fluorescent paints are now in great demand and the company is proud to be the specialist paint company in Australia that tooled up and delivered. Schuster particularly points to the boating industry, mentioning that safety rules in Australia require all racing helmets used on water to be fluorescent red in colour.
The new Fluorescent Basecoat colours are comprised of a semi-transparent basecoat that is applied over a white groundcoat to achieve the fluorescent colour effect. They are available in one litre cans online and from all DNA Custom Paint distributors.
For more information contact DNA Custom Paints on 03 9764 2088, or visit www.dna-paints.com.

HERE Maps To Offer Real-Time Digital Service

Intelligent real-time maps, location-based services and highly-automated driving: the future of mobility lies in a digitized world – one that can be reached through the products and services of HERE. First-rate maps and a new understanding of location-based services are the foundation for HERE to continue on its successful growth course – as an open, independent and value creating company. This is to the benefit of the many hundreds of HERE customers from multiple industries.

AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG will provide strong support for this development as new HERE shareholders. The three premium manufacturers successfully concluded the acquisition of Nokia’s mapping and location business HERE on 4 December, 2015 after receiving approvals from all competent authorities. The new shareholder and governance structure is designed to secure HERE’s independence and allow for the seamless continuation of their day-to-day business.

HERE’s location platform is set to deliver high definition maps combined with real-time location information, providing customers a detailed representation of the real world in real time. This is achieved through HERE’s leading mapping technology combined with countless data sources such as cars, mobile phones, the transport and logistics sector as well as infrastructure elements.

While HERE currently powers its map with data from more than 80,000 sources and billions of probe points daily, the company is actively engaged in connecting to millions of vehicles and their on-board sensors that generate information about the car’s surroundings. The more data added to the HERE platform, the better its maps, products and services become. This brings a huge benefit for all customers leading to more comfort when travelling, safer roads for everybody, less congestion, and cleaner urban areas.

HERE being secured as an independent and open company creates new options to accelerate this effort with customers providing the company with huge quantities of anonymized data. In that context the currently more than 2 million connected vehicles from AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG which are capable of collecting advanced high quality location based data already offer enormous potential to accelerate the development of HERE’s location platform. To enable HERE to further enhance its location platform, improve its products and generate new services for all customers, the three companies, together with HERE, are evaluating the benefit of providing sensor data from their fleets to HERE. All customers – automotive, enterprise, consumers – are invited to join and benefit, as such a step would make HERE even more attractive for customers and additional investors.

HERE already plays a central role in the development of highly automated driving, because no vehicle manufacturer can successfully develop this future area of mobility without high precision, up-to-date maps. Generating these maps is precisely where HERE leads the way. Four out of five new vehicles sold in Europe and North America with in-car navigation have first-rate digital maps from HERE on board. In future, maps will give vehicles the ability to effectively ‘see around corners’, enabling them to anticipate road hazards and prepare and adjust driving strategies accordingly in a way that increases driver trust.

“No one understands the potential of digital maps better than the HERE team with its 6,500 employees worldwide. The shareholders will therefore give HERE free rein in accelerating its growth strategy,” said Prof. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “HERE has again and again redefined the map over the last 30 years. It is our expectation that it will continue to lead the industry in its next phase of innovation, thereby creating further value.”

“The combination of this leading map technology with data from vehicles, devices and infrastructure will give HERE and its customers a clear advantage in the development of future mobility services,” commented Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for Development. “As more partners and customers join this model, HERE will be able to provide even better, more up-to-date maps and a precise digital real-time representation of our world of mobility.”

“Customers from the automotive industry are particularly interested in highly-automated driving. But HERE is much more than a market leader in digital maps,” explained Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Memberof the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “With its high level of innovation and exceptional employees, the company has the potential to become the leading provider of technology for real-time location services in the digitized world of mobility.”

To achieve this, HERE will build on its current strengths and will add new capabilities. HERE aims to strengthen its market leadership among automotive customers and expand its consumer and enterprise businesses – through organic growth, as well as strategic partnerships and acquisitions. HERE’s aim is to create one of the world’s leading location platforms, which will combine data regarding all forms of mobility and the interfaces between our daily life and the world of digital maps.

This long-term strategy is secured through a new governance structure, safeguarded by a supervisory board that will consist of representatives of the new owners and independent, recognized industry figures. AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG do not acquire joint control of HERE and there is a clear separation between their roles as customers, suppliers and investors. In addition, HERE will remain open to all customers, and be open to other investors who would create an even broader shareholder structure. All this ensures that HERE’s unequivocal commitment to openness and independence is firmly established. After the successful closing of this investment, the three premium manufacturers expressed special thanks to Celsius Capital, under Carlos Bhola, for supporting them from the start and achieving a successful conclusion to this investment.

Volvo To Develop Next Generation Automotive Technology With Microsoft

Volvo Cars will work together with Microsoft, the leading platform and productivity company, to jointly develop next generation automotive technologies. The two companies revealed how Microsoft HoloLens, the world’s first fully untethered holographic computer, might be used in future to redefine how customers first encounter and explore a car, as well as how cars might be bought and sold in future.

Areas of future collaboration between the two companies could include autonomous driving technologies and the utilisation of data generated from connected cars to create new services. Today’s HoloLens demonstration was conducted at Microsoft’s global headquarters in Redmond, USA, and showed how mixed reality might be used by customers to configure cars in three dimensions. With HoloLens, a powerful, wearable computer, holograms are mixed into the physical world.

“HoloLens offers the freedom to create a bespoke experience which customers can steer themselves. Imagine using mixed reality to choose the type of car you want – to explore the colours, rims, or get a better understanding of the features, services and options available,” said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President, Marketing Sales and Service at Volvo Cars. He added HoloLens technology might also liberate dealers from more traditional sales environments and allow them to take a car configurator out on the road in small Pop-Up stores, shopping malls or on the high street, opening up new sales channels and introducing cars to a far larger potential audience.

At the HoloLens demonstration, participating journalists were also given a mixed reality preview of Volvo’s new S90 premium sedan, which will be unveiled in reality at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The event offered an indication of the potential of mixed reality to transform the relationship between the customer and the car. Journalists were able to experience Volvo’s new sedan and its latest autonomous driving technology in 3D before the car has even been built and launched.

“We are thrilled to be working with Volvo Cars to reimagine what is possible in car design, discovery and purchasing. We are excited to be at this intersection of technology and human-centric design with Volvo,” Scott Erickson, Senior Director, Microsoft HoloLens at Microsoft Corp.

The demonstration marks the beginning of longer term cooperation between Volvo and Microsoft that will embrace a range of new technologies, all of which have implications for the automotive industry. One area of focus will be autonomous driving. Volvo Cars is a pioneer in car safety and is leading the way when it comes to connected cars and autonomous driving. It has announced a programme called Drive-Me in which 100 self-driving and connected cars will be given to real customers on real roads around the Swedish city of Gothenburg by 2017, the world’s largest autonomous driving experiment.

Other areas of cooperation are expected to include how information gathered by cars and their drivers can be used to enhance the driving experience and the possibility of using predictive analytics to improve safety.

“We are extremely happy to innovate with Microsoft in the field of future mobility,” said Klas Bendrik, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Volvo Cars. “Today’s technology will allow us to achieve not only a more sustainable and crash-free future but also new benefits for our customers and society. Together with Microsoft we aim to pioneer in this field.”

Kevin McCann, Managing Director of Volvo Car Australia highlighted that “Volvo Cars has always put people first. Everything we do starts with ‘what can we do to make this person’s life better, easier and more comfortable?’”. We have always used this philosophy when we design our cars. Designing cars around people has led to many innovations over our 89 year history. â€œA collaboration such as this further entrenches Volvo as a leader in safety and an innovator in technology advancement”, added McCann.

Queensland Team Powers Up For Race To Chase The Sun

Clenergy TeamArrow, which includes seven current QUT students and seven alumni in its ranks, will race teams from across the world to be the fastest car under the sun at the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The biennial challenge tasks 46 teams from 25 countries with completing a gruelling 3,021km journey from Darwin to Adelaide while showcasing the latest advances in solar technology.

Clenergy TeamArrow, one of three Australian teams in the ‘Challenger’ class, will leave Darwin on Sunday (October 18) in their $250,000, 220kg vehicle, capable of reaching a top speed of 126km/h. The solar panels of the solar electric vehicle power a battery pack or can solely power the car, which runs on less power than a toaster.

QUT Mechatronics Engineering graduate and one of the drivers, Amy Gunnell (pictured), said the team were setting their sights high despite their underdog status.

“The 2013 race was the first time we had entered and we were the first Australian car to finish, placing seventh overall. We completed the course in 43 hours last time so this year we’re aiming for under 40 hours and hopefully a top five finish,” she said.

Amy Gunnell and the Clenergy TeamArrow car. “We know it will be tough – some of the top international teams have budgets more than 10 times what we have. We are just a bunch of students and graduates who have built a car that can go really fast but is really efficient.”

Gunnell said the slog across Australia would see the team drive from 8am to 5pm with a cruising speed of about 85km/h.

“You have to be strategic and work out how much time to spend charging versus driving to get the optimal output,” she said. “Last time we had to stop and charge the car on the home straight to Adelaide and crossed the finish line with only enough juice to travel another 250 metres. Our biggest challenge last time was inexperience. We spent two hours on the side of the road after we blew a tyre and other teams would have fixed that in five minutes.

“But we feel better prepared – the car is running brilliantly and we have a great team.”