Panasonic Industry Europe (PIEU), the European partner for electronic components, devices, modules and solutions in the industrial sector, today announced a collaborative sponsorship agreement with Technical University of Munich and Eindhoven University of Technology, both internationally recognized institutions of higher education and research in the field of engineering. The cooperation encompasses four mobility projects, all addressing frictionless, automated and sustainable answers for tomorrow’s transportation. The one-year sponsorship grants almost €100k in financial support and importantly enables the teams to benefit from Panasonic Industry’s components and know-how. Both vital factors to the education of scientists and engineers and to the development of technologies that can significantly make a better life and a better world.
Johannes Spatz, President at Panasonic Industry Europe: “Our society stands on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we travel and how we perceive transportation. In particular, the technological changes associated with ACES transformation – Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared vehicles – will create vast opportunities. At Panasonic Industry we are excited about new possibilities and opportunities which lie ahead of us and our scientific research collaborations give us the opportunity to share our natural curiosity with young and smart heads as well as to share our enthusiasm for connected mobility and our products. We are always surprised when we expand our horizons with ambitious and motivated students: there is a lot of creative and visionary potential we want to promote, support and nourish”.
The four sponsorship and mentoring programmes are:
- Solar Team Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology
- TUM Hyperloop IV, Technical University of Munich
- InMotion, Eindhoven University of Technology and Fontys
- TUFast, Technical University of Munich
Solar cars are powered by energy from solar panels mounted on the vehicle. They have been raced competitively since 1985 in Europe, the US and Australia. The Solar Team Eindhoven is working on a prototype which will participate at the World Solar Challenge in Australia, and also on building a commercially viable solar-powered family car from the ground up which will quicken the transition to clean energy abundance.
“We believe that the solution for electric vehicles is not to be found in the energy grid or better infrastructure: it is to be found in cars themselves. By becoming independent of the grid we can accelerate the transition towards sustainable mobility through bypassing political agendas. By using the largest infinite source of energy; our Sun, we can make mobility not about energy consumption, but about facilitating energy abundance” says Evan Quadvlieg, Technical Acquisition Manager, Solar Team Eindhoven.
TUM Hyperloop IV
The Hyperloop is a transportation concept for a high-speed train to travel in a near-vacuum tube, which allows the capsule to travel at supersonic speed – faster than any commercial train or car in the foreseeable future. In pursuit of this vision, SpaceX founder Elon Musk launched the “Hyperloop Pod Competition”. Teams of students from around the world compete against one another with pod prototypes. In Musk’s 2013 ground transportation paper, pods of people and cargo travel between cities at transonic speeds in a network of low-pressure tubes, while self-driving electric cars transport goods from Hyperloop stations to their final destinations around the country.
“Our design concept is influenced in many ways by the e-mobility sector. On that basis, a co-operation with Panasonic Industry was a logical and necessary step for us. Using an electric motor guarantees the best possible acceleration, but it also creates safety requirements for our components that are typical of electric vehicles – here we can benefit from technical support and guidance by the industry” explains Tim Simon Klose, Technical Lead, TUM Hyperloop from Technical University of Munich.
The long term goal of this ambitious project is to participate at Le Mans in 2023 – its centenary year. InMotion aims to make electric refuelling for its e-race vehicle as fast and convenient as refuelling a conventionally-powered car. Electric refuelling is a technologically challenging concept. Solar, wind and grid energy charges an energy buffer used to supply the energy to the car during charging. An active cooling system for both the car and charger is necessary to keep the energy transfer as efficient as possible. The battery pack needs to be safe for everyday use and have a high power density while being able to handle large charging powers.
“We at InMotion believe innovation is best achieved in a challenging environment, under extreme conditions. There is nothing more challenging than driving a car for 24 hours for over 5000 kilometres. Our vision is to present our battery prototype at the end of 2019 and improve the endurance and charging time of the battery in subsequent years. If we can meet the e-racing challenge, electric refuelling is then ready for use by everybody. ” concludes Sjoerd Filmer, Partner Relations Manager, InMotion.
For the fourth consecutive year, Panasonic Industry Europe is sponsoring the TUfast Racing Team from Technical University Munich in the Formula SAE/Formula Student racing competition, where student teams from different universities compete against each other in professionally organized races in their own self-built and developed racing cars. The team will be participating with an electric racing car and also with a driverless, autonomous racing car, both built from scratch by the students.
“Panasonic Industry’s team of engineers and product managers are highly experienced and helped us to avoid mistakes. Thanks to our collaboration we will create a better car each year because fresh and creative ideas from our side mixed with years of experience from Panasonic Industry’s side generates the best design in the end” says Grygoriy Garyuk, Technical Director TUfast Racing Team.
Commenting on the four projects, Alexander Schultz-Storz, Division Director, Solution Competence Division, Panasonic Industry said: “ Cooperation between industry and university is not a one-way street: industry also benefits. The TuFast Formula Student project enables us to interact with and support students who exhibit lateral thinking and design capabilities in a realistic engineering environment. The InMotion project looks at replicating the gasoline car experience which may be required to bring over some folk who won’t otherwise drive an electric car. Hyperloop offers a significant reduction in carbon emissions, intended to enhance current sustainable, networked mobility concepts. This matches our mission as a global leader in smart and sustainable infrastructure. Finally, Solar Team Eindhoven’s solar vehicles are a match for Panasonic Eco Solutions’ technologies, especially its photovoltaic modules, which are among the highest quality available on the market. At Panasonic Industry Europe we‘re continuously looking for fresh and innovative ways to throw our know-how into exhilarating and ground-breaking projects to explore new opportunities and make life more liveable for everyone – these sponsorships provide an ideal method of doing that.”
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