Stella Lux, a solar-powered car built by students from the Eindhoven University of Technology, made a stop in Austin, Texas recently. Not only did Stella wow Austin Mayor Steve Adler and NXP employees with her energy-efficiency prowess, but the visit offered a glimpse of our future mobility and connected cars in smart cities.
Stella Lux is an energy-positive car. This means that she generates more energy than she consumes, so any excess energy could be returned to the power grid and used in your home. Her low-riding aerodynamic design plays an important role in her energy efficiency and generation. Materials like carbon fiber and aluminum make the car extremely light, which uses less energy.
Built by the students at the University of Eindhoven, Stella Lux is the first energy positive family car. Above, Stella and her team are joined with University of Texas’ TexSun solar car and its team for an event on the University of Texas campus.
NXP is key provider of technology to Stella Lux
As a key technology supplier for Solar Team Eindhoven, NXP provides Solar Team Eindhoven with automotive microprocessors and technologies that enable Stella Lux’s connected, safety-first, energy-efficient and convenient driving features. This includes steering controls, integrated heads-up display, solar power system, windows, throttle and brake functions and more.
RoadLINK offers V2X for Stella to communicate
Stella Lux is also fitted with NXP vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology, allowing the car to communicate with DSRC traffic infrastructure and with and other 802.11P equipped vehicles. In additional to being able to work with Smart City Standards based messages, it specifically sends additional performance data to a support car that follows. The connected cars send data about the status of the vehicle, including battery level and operating temperature. The team can combine this data with other sources like weather data to develop predictive models in real time, enabling them to choose the best route.
With urban populations constantly increasing, issues such as traffic jams, pollution and road fatalities will continue to rise concurrently. The most viable solution to these global problems is better connected vehicles and intelligent traffic infrastructure. NXP has long realized the potential of the connected car and has been behind many of the earliest field trials of V2X technology, introducing the first automotive-qualified product back in 2013, and going on to lead the V2X ecosystem with its RoadLINK technology.
Steven van der Schoot, Solar Team Eindhoven engineer, takes Stella out of the garage and onto the streets. Watch her in action and hear more about the technology that powers this award-winning energy-positive vehicle.
Follow Solar Team Eindhoven on Twitter (@SolarEhv), Flickr, and Facebook
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