Solar car produced by students starts country tour

Solar car produced by students starts country tour

Zülal Atagün - ISTANBUL
Solar car produced by students starts country tour

A team from Türkiye’s leading Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ) has started a 1,300-kilometers Türkiye tour with a solar car they produced, “ARIba ZES X.”

The team will represent Türkiye in the European Solar Challenge, a solar car race that will be held in Belgium in September and will be attended by many teams from different countries of the world.

The team started a tour from Istanbul on Aug. 8 to test the car before the races and raise awareness in the field of sustainability.

The tour will end on Aug. 12 in the capital Ankara after making stops at the northeastern province of Bursa and the Central Anatolian provinces of Eskişehir and Konya.

Drawing attention with its lightness, efficiency and power, the car is the most successful of the 10 solar cars the team has produced to date, in terms of energy use and efficiency, according to the team.

The car demonstrates an exemplary university-industry cooperation model as a result of working with many respected people and institutions from the industry and academia, the team said.

Underlining that the team produced another car, ARIba Autonomous 2, this year, Abdullah Çalışkan, one of the team members, said, “According to ARIba Autonomous 1, radical changes have been made in terms of electrical, mechanical and autonomous software.”

“ARIba Autonomous 2, which stands out with its striking design and ability to make autonomous driving on all kinds of roads, also has the title of being the only car that can complete the course among the 33 cars that participated in the 2022 Teknofest-Robotaxi Autonomous Vehicle Competition,” Çalışkan added.

Competing in Belgium and Türkiye simultaneously with the ARIba ZES X and the ARIba Autonomous 1 last year, the team also won the third prize in the Teknofest-Robotaxi Autonomous Vehicle Competition.

Aiming to strengthen the university-industry-student triangle, the team offers an environmentalist solution to the climate crisis by emphasizing the importance of alternative energy sources.

Since 2004, they received more than 24 awards on three continents for the cars it has been producing.

Having achieved various successes in the races organized by the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBİTAK) between 2006 and 2014, the team attended the World Solar Challenge, which is considered the most prestigious solar car race in the world, in 2009 and were awarded “The Best Newcomer.”

The team, which also participated in the European Solar Challenge races in 2016 and 2020, was awarded the “Brain Sport Award” and “Spirit of the Event,” respectively.