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Surge in electric and autonomous vehicles at Formula Student 2020

Press Office

Formula Student 2020 takes place Wednesday 22 July – Sunday 26 July 2020. at Silverstone Circuit
Formula Student 2020 takes place Wednesday 22 July – Sunday 26 July 2020. at Silverstone Circuit

Electric vehicle entries up by nearly 50%. Entries for autonomous competition more than double. New teams joining from Hong Kong, Nigeria, Russia and Cyprus

A record number of electric and autonomous vehicles are set to do battle in this year’s Formula Student competition which will see thousands of engineering students from over 30 countries travelling to Silverstone in July to take part in the event.

The competition, which is organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, challenges the students to use their creativity and technical skills to design, build and race single seater cars.

Mirroring real world trends of vehicle electrification, this year’s line-up features 33 electric vehicle entries compared with last year’s 24, including Loughborough University, University of Portsmouth, Queen’s University Belfast and Oxford Brookes University who are entering with electric cars for the first time.

Similarly, FS-AI has more than doubled in size following its inaugural competition last year. Teams from Egypt and Australia as well as UK universities will join 2019 winners Edinburgh University in the challenge to develop the best autonomous vehicle systems.

Lucy Killington, Project Manager of Formula Student, said:

“FS-AI has really taken off, with 12 teams from all over the world participating. This is a huge increase on last year’s 5 teams and a real testament to the UK’s competition model which offers the opportunity for budding CAV engineers to utilise the IMechE’s ADS-DV (automated driving system – dedicated vehicle) if they don’t have the resource to build their own.”

Developed with funding from the Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, the ADS-DV is unique to this competition and enables a wider variety of students studying STEM topics to participate and develop their skills.

Andrew Deakin, Chairman of Formula Student, said:

“The expansion of the FS-AI competition this year is really exciting and we’re very grateful for the support of all our partners to keep this side of the competition growing. Formula Student has always been proud of the work it does to prepare students for the real world of industry and FS-AI will help us achieve that in the ever-expanding area of autonomous vehicles.”

Formula Student continues to be a key part of the Institution’s vision to develop the next generation of superstar engineers. The electric and FS AI competitions are in addition to the traditional internal combustion vehicle events. Over 130 teams are lining up on the grid this year, including first timers from Russia, Nigeria, Hong Kong and Cyprus.

“We are truly delivering on our mission to have great international appeal with education and innovation at our heart,” said Lucy Killington.

Journalists are invited to attend

WHEN:           Wednesday 22 July – Sunday 26 July 2020. The main dynamic events will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
WHERE:         Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 8TN
ONLINE:       Formula Student –

Notes to Editors

  • Contact the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Press Office on 020 7304 6877 or email
  • The Institution of Mechanical Engineers was established in 1847 and has some of the world’s greatest engineers in its history books. It is one of the fastest growing professional engineering institutions. Headquartered in London, we have operations around the world and over 120,000 members in more than 140 countries working at the heart of the most important and dynamic industries such as the automotive, rail, aerospace, medical, power and construction industries.

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