Australian Uni Designing "Vehicles Of Tomorrow"

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Added On August 12, 2017

Now to Australia, where a team from Western Sydney University are looking to cross the continent in record time... using only the power of the sun.
 
We caught up with them at Sydney Science Week, as they show off their vehicle for this year's "World Solar Challenge".
 
The team are made up of around 30 students and alumni from Western Sydney University, or WSU.
 
From a blank sheet of paper, the team took two years to design and manufacture a cutting-edge solar-powered car, which they hope can take on the world's best.
 
SOUNDBITE: AJ VERMA, WSU Team, 2015 World Solar Challenge 
"We are building and designing the vehicles of tomorrow. We run a car that is essentially powered entirely by the sun and we drive across from Darwin to Adelaide, 3000 kilometers nonstop."
 
The World Solar Challenge attracts over 40 teams from across the globe and is the premier racing event for sustainable cars.
 
There are two categories for solar racers to compete in. One is the cruiser class which includes entries that are somewhat comparable to regular road cars.
 
But WSU competes in the more experimental, challenger class, which is focused entirely on speed.
 
SOUNDBITE: AJ VERMA, WSU Team, 2015 World Solar Challenge 
"Teams like ours exist to develop and push the envelope of what can be done with engineering and sustainable energy."
 
To make the vehicle as fast as possible, engineers use an extremely lightweight carbon fibre frame, which is very low to the ground to reduce drag.
 
SOUNDBITE: MAX MAMMONE, WSU Team, 2017 World Solar Challenge 
"The car can do 129 kilometers per hour. The car can travel non-stop as long as the sun is out, at around 80 kilometers per hour, on a full charge with no sun we can go 450 kilometers."
 
It won't all be easy, and the team know the outback has a range of challenges for their delicate machine.
 
SOUNDBITE: MAX MAMMONE, WSU Team, 2017 World Solar Challenge 
"We are racing from one side of the continent to the other, there is a lot of obstacles that we are going to face like road trains and cattle grids, big winds and all those sorts of things that we need to consider when driving this lightweight car."
 
As the most sun drenched continent in the world, the team believes Australia should focus on accelerating the solar power development.
 
SOUNDBITE: AJ VERMA, WSU Team, 2015 World Solar Challenge 
"We spend a lot of time with school children of various ages explaining the benefits of sustainable energy and how important it is to be energy efficient. Sydney Science Week is about the community, we're here to show you what science and engineering can do in today's world."
 
The race begins on October 8th in Darwin, on Australia's north coast, with the first cars expected to finish four days later in Adelaide, 3000 kilometers south.