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RIT and Computer Engineering Host the 2014 Freescale Cup Challenge

Led by the Department of Computer Engineering, on April 19 RIT hosted the Freescale Cup East Coast Challenge. The Freescale Cup is a global competition where student teams build, program, and race a model car around a track for speed. The fastest car to complete the track without derailing, wins. The technology used is similar to the sophisticated electronic sensors, embedded software and processors being incorporated into today’s vehicles, or “smart cars.”

“It’s more about the coding than the car designs,” said Lydia Hays, a second-year computer engineering student at RIT and part of the T-800 racecar team. Each team begins with a similar kit of parts that includes the car chassis, processors and sensors, then programs its racecar and controls it as it moves along the racetrack.

“We do this race all over the world,” said Andy Mastronardi, global director, university programs, Freescale, “and we usually see about 45 to 60 percent of teams complete the track circuit. But we see 100 percent learning from the students. It’s a tremendous learning experience—and good fun.”

This was the first year RIT hosted the Freescale Cup. Fourteen college race teams from four colleges (RIT, the University of Rhode Island, Pennsylvania State University and Carleton University) participated. RIT race teams Freesnail, Dream Team and Unbendable Bananas placed second, third and fourth, respectively, overall in the competition. Team Freesnail  will represent the U.S. at the Freescale Cup Championships Aug. 29–30 at Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea.


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