03 May 2021

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge invites solar teams to join new virtual program

A virtual program created by Bridgestone World Solar Challenge organisers will invite teams to test their solar cars and be recognised for the skill and dedication required to build them.

The program – featuring a telemetry challenge and an awards program – begins in September this year. Its goal is to celebrate those who intended to take part in the 2021 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and promote their efforts to drive technology, innovation and sustainability further.

Telemetry challenge

The telemetry challenge is open to any team who has participated in a past recognised solar challenge. It will allow teams to compare the performance of their solar cars based on measures such as energy efficiency, to develop and experiment with data acquisition systems that could be used in future events, and to join the wider community in developing methods for analysing and presenting solar car performance data.

Each team will collect and submit telemetry data through driving their cars from September, with approved analysts able to review and assess submitted data from October. All data will then be ‘played’ concurrently from 26-28 October for simultaneous comparison and further analysis. Members of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge scientific faculty will help the public interpret the data through regular summaries on the event website.

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Virtual Awards

These awards will recognise the efforts of 2021’s registered solar car teams and highlight outstanding achievements across the community. Entries are open only to those teams who registered to participate in the 2021 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, including those whose solar cars are incomplete. Awards will recognise technology, innovation, sustainability, awareness and the team culture, with the ceremony to be streamed worldwide on 30 October.

The 16th edition of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge – to have been held from 22-30 October this year – was cancelled on 12 February. The decision, made following extensive scenario planning, was prompted by Australia’s ongoing international border closure. A total of 630 international participants, and 26 international teams from 20 countries, were expected to travel to Australia for the event.

Events South Australia Executive Director Hitaf Rasheed said the virtual program would help highlight teams’ dedication to developing solar vehicle technology.

“While we were unable to hold the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge this year, the work to advance solar cars continues and we congratulate the many students involved,” Ms Rasheed said.

“We’re committed to sharing their achievements, to bringing our community together and to looking ahead with optimism.”

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Event Director Chris Selwood encouraged teams to enter the telemetry challenge and awards.

“Ours is an event that celebrates technology – and here it will help us see just how far solar car design has come,” Mr Selwood said.

“We’re all excited to see results from the telemetry challenge, and also to honour the teams who have shown such resilience in forging ahead despite major setbacks over the past year.”

Telemetry challenge timeline

Registrations for teams and analysts open – 4 June 2021 at 9am Australian Central Standard Time (ACST)

Team data submission available – 1 September 2021 at 9am ACST

Analyst access to data portal available – 1 October 2021 at 9am ACST

Live data playback and analysis period – 26-28 October 2021.

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Virtual Awards timeline

Registrations open – 4 June 2021 at 9am ACST

Award submissions open – 1 October 2021 at 9am ACST

Award submissions close – 15 October 2021 at 9am ACDT

Virtual awards ceremony – Saturday 30 October 2021.

The State Government, through the South Australian Tourism Commission, remains steadfastly committed to the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge – a biennial event next scheduled to take place in October 2023.

The event is owned and managed by the South Australian Tourism Commission on behalf of the South Australian Government. Since 1987 it has welcomed great international minds to Australia for the chance to push the limits of technological innovation and travel the outback in a vehicle powered only by the sun.

In 2019 the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge celebrated 32 years and welcomed a record 43 teams from 21 countries.

Please visit worldsolarchallenge.org for more information.