STUDENTS of Makerere University are to participate in developing the Vision 200, a high-performance, fuel-efficient car that is set to revolutionise road transport. The students are among a team of 31 researchers from the worldâ€™s top universities who participated in the Vehicle Des
STUDENTS of Makerere University are to participate in developing the Vision 200, a high-performance, fuel-efficient car that is set to revolutionise road transport.
The students are among a team of 31 researchers from the worldâ€™s top universities who participated in the Vehicle Design Summit (VDS) in Torino, Italy. VDS is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology initiative.
The Makerere teamâ€™s work has attracted interest and prospects for partnership with some of the worldâ€™s top technology institutes and car-making companies.
Represented by six students from the Faculty of Technology, the Makerere University team is developing the power train â€” a system that powers the car and enables it to move. With guidance from the worldâ€™s leading industry partners, the team has been part of about 1,000 undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students whose contribution will result in the hybrid car.
â€œPolitecnico di Torino in Italy, one of the leading polytechnic institutes in Europe, have asked us to work with them on a research project that will involve similar input,â€ said Steven Ntambi, the team leader.
The institute is developing a hybrid vehicle that will use both battery and fuel, for which Makerere Universityâ€™s expertise in power electronics and data networking will be required.
â€œWe have also had a face-to-face interaction with FIAT research centre and they have expressed interest in our contribution,â€ he said.
The New Vision first broke the story of this historical innovation in January this year.
Ntambi said the team spent 10 weeks in Italy developing the power train. After successfully completing the first phase of their project, the team of 11 students is now working on an improved prototype to be presented next year. The project will produce the first hybrid power vehicle, which is expected to be rolled out in 2010 in Torino.
Since the beginning of the project last year, the Makerere University students have developed a fully-fledged power electronics and data networking system to which teams from other universities have added other components of the vehicle.
The VDS Vision 200 car will use an electric motor and auxiliary power unit to maximise fuel efficiency. It will consume one litre of fuel for every 85km and cover a range of 320km on the highway and within towns. The vehicle will carry four to five adult passengers and have a capacity of 500kg.
Makerere students to make fuel-saving car