A new year brings new talented and driven mechanical engineering students. What better way to start off this amazing time in their lives than to help them put the pedal to the metal with an assignment designed as a competition? The students work individually to program an algorithm for an automatic gearbox in a Porsche 935. The aim is to reach a quarter mile in the shortest possible time.
In order to solve this assignment, students must use data from the car such as its velocity, acceleration and engine RPM to optimize the gear shifts while at the same time honing their Python coding skills. This provides a valuable introduction to real-world problems, something that is not only immensely gratifying but will also help the students excel in their education.
The top ten students that reach the finish line in the shortest time are invited to try their own algorithms in the simulator, thus allowing them to try it out for real. The students also get the opportunity to drive a Caster developed gearbox algorithm as well a manual gearbox for the same vehicle.