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Students Won Second Place in a Unique Car Competition

A team of students and researchers from Halmstad University won second place in a unique car competition. Twelve teams from around the world had prepared cars that they drove using wireless communication
The competition was held in Holland and preparations in Halmstad have been going on for a year. Electrical, mechatronic and computer engineering students have worked intensively to convert the car for the competition. In the competition, Halmstad University finished in an honourable second place behind Karlsruhe Institute of Technology from Germany.

"We are extremely happy to achieve such a good result among all the prestigious teams that participated in the competition," said Kristoffer Lidström, team-leader and postgraduate student at Halmstad University.

Team Halmstad University: Kristoffer Lidström, Mattias Bjäde, Fredrik Bergh, Johan Andersson and Spencer Mark. Photo: Christoffer Englund

Teamwork is the key

The task was to get the cars arranged into a ‘car train´ in which the vehicles would stay close together and follow each other. The cars´ acceleration and braking was controlled using wireless communications technology without any input from the drivers. Only the driver in the first car ‘drives´, the drivers of the other cars follow the first car in a train-like formation where the speed is controlled automatically depending on how the cars in front of them behave.

The initiative of the competition is the ever-increasing amount of road traffic which is causing problems in many places.

"There are more and more vehicles on the roads and it is often not possible to increase road capacity enough to deal with the traffic. This leads to traffic congestion and unnecessary exhaust emissions. One solution might be to arrange this kind of 'car train'. This would make traffic flow more smoothly and safely and would also reduce exhaust emissions," says Kristoffer Lidström.

The preparation for the competition has been carried out in close collaboration with the industry, especially Volvo Cars and Volvo Technology. The students and researchers from Halmstad University collaborated with two other teams from Sweden, KTH (the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm) and Chalmers (Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg).

The other nine teams in the competition included teams from Germany, USA and Turkey.

Close collaboration with the industry

Apart from team leader Kristoffer Lidström, the team from Halmstad University consisted of students Mattias Bjäde, Fredrik Bergh, Johan Andersson and Spencer Mak. The work on the car was their graduation project and they have spent many hours, days and weeks programming and installing the equipment and test driving.

"It has been very enjoyable and not like regular university courses. We have worked very much in a practical manner and it has been exciting to be involved in such edge cutting technology," says Fredrik Bergh.

As a student, he also found it rewarding to have the opportunity to work closely with researchers, with students from other universities and disciplines and with the industry.


As part of the project, they have also collaborated with some students studying Media and Communication in Theory and Practice at Halmstad University. As their graduation projects, the media students documented the preparations and the actual competition in Holland. To view the film the students made prior to the competition; use the link on the top right corner.


GCDC — facts
GCDC, the Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge, took place in Holland on 14-15 May. It was arranged by Dutch research organisation TNO. The three Swedish teams worked in coordination under the project CoAct, run by SAFER, the vehicle and traffic safety organisation, and the Viktoria Institute, an IT research institute for automotive and transport informatics.

Want to know more?
During Utexpo, Halmstad University's annual graduation exhibition on 26-28 May, you can meet the students who took part in GCDC and see the competition car.

The task was to get the cars organised in a 'train-like' formation and communicate the speed by wireless communication. Photo: Fredrik Bergh

Updated 2018-02-21