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Solar race challengers helped by Fujitsu IoT package

Wearables powered by Fujitsu's UBIQUITOUSWARE, an IoT package that senses the status of people and things and their surrounding environments, has helped the Belgian team prepare for its participation in the ongoing Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

The system can analyse the data quickly and provide actionable output.

The Belgian team is known as the Punch Powertrain Solar Team. The race, which is for students from around the world, began on Sunday and runs until 15 October, with participants expected to complete a distance of 3000 kms across the Australian outback.

The Fujitsu wearables have provided real-time vital signs monitoring during training to plan the optimum setup for the Belgian drivers.

The 21 students from the University of Leuven used Fujitsu wearables ahead of the race to track drivers’ heart rates, drowsiness levels, temperature and level of heat stress while on the move.

solartrain big

One of the members of the Belgian team ahead of the race.

This will help provide insights into the well-being of the driver and their ability to perform under the hot and demanding race conditions.

Jasper Schrijvers, a Punch Powertrain driver, said: “Driver fitness plays a crucial role in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, as it’s important that the driver doesn’t overheat at the wheel.

"But energy used on cooling cannot be used to power the vehicle. To put it into perspective, we are planning to achieve speeds of up to 90 km/h with the same amount of power that you use for a hairdryer.

"Therefore, use of any cooling at all will slow us down and could mean the difference between winning and losing.”

James Maynard, Offering Management Director, IoT & Innovation, Innovative IoT Business Unit at Fujitsu, said: “Fujitsu wearable solutions have enabled the Belgian team to provide previously unavailable insights into driver well-being – to see more, act faster and predict instead of react.

"The team used data collected during their preparation to advise their drivers on the optimum balance between performance and safety during the race.

"After all, driver well-being is a top priority – not just in events like the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, but for every driver when behind the wheel or anyone working in physically challenging conditions.”

Photos: courtesy Fujitsu


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.