UNSW Sydney’s Sunswift 7 solar-powered car has brilliantly begun its bid to bring the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Cruiser-Class trophy to Australia for the first ever time.
The student-built car, is attempting to claim the honours against teams from across the globe in an amazing race that covers 3,600km from Darwin to Adelaide.
It was fastest in the Cruiser Class during the pre-event time trial and made a blistering start by powering to first place in the 317km opening stage from Darwin to Katherine, beating second-placed University of Minnesota by more than 14 minutes to also lead comfortably in the points-scoring system.
The team are using Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink system to livestream continuous footage from inside the car all the way back to UNSW as it races through the middle of the Outback.
Media opportunities (filming & interviews) are available with the team and drivers this week via the special Spacecube race control facility that has been set up at UNSW Sydney's Kensington campus.
The Sunswift car is fitted with 5G transmission equipment from Optus, allied with cloud computing services from AWS, to send a live video feed via Starlink satellites to the UNSW campus.
Telemetry from the car will also be beamed back to a group of student engineers working as race control from special Spacecube modular buildings set up in the middle of campus.
Sunswift Racing Team Principal, Professor of Practice Richard Hopkins, was previously Head of Operations at the Red Bull F1 team (2007-2015), said: “We have our race control team back on campus at the university checking all the telemetry and data from the car.
“It’s very much like NASA’s mission control where all the people in Houston are able to monitor what is happening when the rocket goes into space.
“This is about showcasing the technologies and showing that we can broadcast video and data from the middle of nowhere back to our team of race engineers in Sydney.”
Interview opportunities with Sunswift 7 team they race through the Australian Outback during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.