Fujitsu Wearables Ensure Belgian Solar Team’s Well-being During Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
- Fujitsu wearable technology used to monitor vital signs and generate optimal balance of performance and well-being for Punch Powertrain Solar Team
- Wearables measure driver well-being - including temperature - providing live telemetry to support crew
- Solution helps Belgian team optimize cockpit cooling and ensure driver health during the 3,000km solar-powered vehicle race
Students from all over the world will participate in the 2017 event, racing solar cars that store a maximum of 5KW hours of energy and must draw all other power from the sun, or via the recovery of their vehicle’s kinetic energy. As competitors cross the Australian Outback - where temperatures can hit 38 degrees Celsius - drivers must find the right balance between using energy for air conditioning to cool the cockpit, or to power their vehicle.
The Punch Powertrain Solar Team, comprised of 21 students from the University of Leuven in Belgium, used the Fujitsu wearables in the weeks leading up to the race to monitor their drivers’ heart rates, drowsiness levels, temperature and level of heat stress while on the move. This data was monitored to 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, says: “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 says: “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.”
The Belgian team used real-time monitoring of driver well-being during their trail runs leading up to the race. Fujitsu equipped the Punch Powertrain team with UBIQUITOUSWARE wearable solutions for measuring environmental temperature, vitals and an ear clip measuring blood flow to track drowsiness, sounding an alarm when alertness dropped, therefore allowing a timely change of drivers.
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Date: 09 October, 2017