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Solar-powered driverless car.

Students at the Canadian University in Dubai have collaborated on a project to develop a solar-powered driverless car. The vehicle, completely fueled by the sun’s energy, was designed to be used for transport between the university’s two campus buildings in City Walk.
Collaborative Efforts for Innovation
The project brought together 22 senior students from the university’s school of engineering, applied science, and technology. Working in teams, the undergraduate engineers focused on various aspects of the car’s development. It includes the navigation system, power capacity, bodywork, and chassis.
The car displayed at the university as a proof-of-concept design. It has the potential to serve a practical purpose on the roads in the near future. The innovative vehicle was developed as part of the students’ graduation program. Moreover, with each group responsible for different technical aspects of the manufacturing process.
Technical Expertise
Feras Usmani, an electrical engineering and mechatronics student, highlighted the challenge of integrating all the car’s systems into one cohesive unit. Furthermore, the guidance from professors, effective teamwork, and strong engineering skills were instrumental in the success of the car’s development.
Moreover, one group focused on the central processing design, managing the car’s controls and handling inputs from the camera and light detection and ranging (Lidar) system sensors, which serve as the car’s core intelligence. Another group was responsible for the power supply to the electronic devices, utilizing a photovoltaic panel on the roof to charge the traction battery and provide a 60-volt power supply.
The project not only showcased the students’ theoretical knowledge but also provided them with valuable interpersonal skills and technical expertise. Dr. Salih Rashid Majeed, assistant professor in CUD’s school of engineering, applied science, and technology, emphasized the real-world application of theoretical knowledge and the significance of teamwork in engineering.
Dubai’s advancements in autonomous vehicle technology have positioned the UAE as a front-runner in this field. Self-driving cars offer the potential for improved road safety, traffic efficiency, and reduced carbon emissions. With projects like the solar-powered driverless car, Dubai is leveraging its natural resources to support the transition to autonomous transport


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A solar-powered driverless car is an innovative concept that combines two cutting-edge technologies: solar energy and autonomous driving. Such a vehicle would harness energy from the sun to power its operations while also utilizing autonomous driving capabilities to navigate without human intervention. Here's a brief overview of how this concept might work:
Solar Power Integration: A solar-powered driverless car would be equipped with solar panels integrated into its design. These solar panels would be strategically placed on the car's roof, hood, and possibly even its windows to maximize the collection of sunlight. The collected solar energy would be converted into electrical energy through photovoltaic cells and stored in a high-capacity battery.
Energy Management: The energy collected from the sun would be used to power various components of the car, including its propulsion system, sensors, communication devices, and computing units for autonomous driving. The advanced battery system would store excess energy for use during cloudy days or nighttime driving.
Autonomous Driving: The driverless aspect of the car would involve a combination of sensors (such as LiDAR, cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors), artificial intelligence, and sophisticated algorithms. These technologies would enable the car to perceive its surroundings, make real-time decisions, and navigate safely without human input.
  • Eco-Friendly: The use of solar power reduces the reliance on fossil fuels and lowers greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to a greener transportation solution.
  • Energy Independence: Solar energy is a renewable resource, offering energy independence and reducing the need for frequent refueling or charging.
  • Reduced Operating Costs: Solar power can significantly reduce operating costs by minimizing or even eliminating the need for external charging.
  • Longer Driving Range: Solar charging can extend the car's driving range, especially for short trips and daily commutes.
  • Technological Advancement: The integration of solar power and autonomous driving showcases advancements in sustainable transportation and artificial intelligence.
  • Limited Solar Efficiency: Current solar technology's efficiency is limited, and the energy generated might not be sufficient for all driving scenarios.
  • Weather Dependence: Solar power generation is weather-dependent, which could impact energy availability on cloudy days or during nighttime.
  • Technological Integration: Combining advanced solar technology with autonomous driving systems requires complex engineering and integration efforts.