Trinity College Dublin: Formula Trinity takes Silverstone by storm

The students, who designed and built a single-seater race car for the competition, made up the only Irish Class 1 team at the event. They also comprised the first and only Irish FS-AI team to compete in a new AI category in which the competitors use autonomous vehicles.

The success underlined the power of multidisciplinary research as the team benefited from the expertise of students pursuing engineering and computer science programmes, while business and arts students were also involved in the Business and Operations team.

Lucy Daly, Formula Trinity, said:

“We were thrilled to come home with three awards – the Allan Staniforth Best Newcomer Award, the Best Real World AI Award, and the Aston Martin x Racing Pride Diversity and Inclusion Award.

“Formula Trinity has always been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in motorsport and STEM, and has run multiple campaigns such as ‘Femuary’ and ‘Diversity and Motorsport Month’ inviting speakers such as Racing Pride’s Richard Morris, rally driver Rosemary Smith and FIA race director for F2 and F3 Silvia Bellot to speak to the team. We’re really pleased to have been rewarded for these efforts with the Diversity and Inclusion Award.”

The Formula Trinity team with their car at the famous Silverstone race circuit.

The Formula Trinity team with their car at the famous Silverstone circuit. Lucy Daly is behind the wheel.

As part of their prize, the team was invited to Aston Martin F1 to tour their new facility and view the Aston Martin Lagonda factory. Marcus Ludlow, Aston Martin’s recently appointed Inclusion Network Chair noted that his own efforts to introduce diversity and inclusion were influenced by Formula Trinity’s approach, and planned to use the team’s Formula Student entry as a path template for future work at Aston Martin.

Seán Larkin, Formula Trinity, added:

“In winning the Best Real World AI Award, we developed a number of innovative concepts to solve some of the most pressing issues facing autonomous vehicle design. Our team of Katherine Hardgrave, Daniel Flood, Sam Walsh, and Seán Larkin, received a perfect score for the task of 100 points, with the judges emphasising that this was the best presentation of the challenges facing AI technology that they had ever seen.”

The plan for next year is to enter both the Formula Student Class 1 and FS-AI competitions again, using all that was learned to improve performance still further in 2023. The team also hopes to have a running car much earlier in the year to allow for more testing.

Gerry Byrne, Senior Experimental Officer in the Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing & Bioengineering in Trinity’s School of Engineering, accompanied the Formula Trinity team to the competition in Silverstone. He said:

“The standard in this Institution of Mechanical Engineers-run competition is exceptionally high with teams from all over the world competing in each category. Our students can be extremely proud of their achievements especially since the team is a completely student-led initiative.”

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