Photo: DTU

DTU Roadrunners win two prizes at Shell Eco-Marathon

Wednesday 11 Jul 18
by Jeppe-Moelgaard-Thomsen


Henning Si Høj
Industrial PhD
DTU Electrical Engineering
+45 23 49 91 17


Jesper Schramm
DTU Mechanical Engineering
+45 45 25 41 79
Thorough preparation meant that DTU Roadrunners won two categories in this year’s Shell Eco-Marathon.

Last Saturday, DTU students saw their race car claim top spot as the most fuel-efficient at the annual Shell Eco-Marathon. In fact, their bioethanol-powered car broke the track record for fuel-efficient driving with 374 km on one litre of petrol in their second run, thus winning the category.

“In our first run, we drove 326 km per litre, while our competitors completed 337 km. So early Saturday morning, we started lubricating the joints and briefing our driver extra thoroughly, which resulted in us setting a new track record of 374 km on one litre of bioethanol,” says Henning Si Høj, who completed his Master's degree in Electrical Engineering (specializing in automation and robot technology) last year and now serves as supervisor for DTU Roadrunners.

Not only did DTU’s car win in the fuel efficiency category. 'Dynamo'—as the car is called—also won the competition for best driverless car. The win is partly due to thorough preparation and a test track which the students had at their disposal at DTU Lyngby.

“But luckily, we had built software for the driverless system from scratch, so we easily could adapt the car to any unexpected changes at the London track. Because we knew the program so well, we were the first ever to have completed a full track without the driver touching the steering wheel while driving,” says Henning Si Høj.

"We were the first ever to have completed a full track without the driver touching the steering wheel while driving."
Henning Si Høj

It was not completely unexpected that the students ended up taking home two awards, as they focused intensely on making their car the very best in the two competitions they won, but it was not without challenges.

“We spent every waking hour one month before the competition on optimizing fuel consumption and the autonomous system. For example, to save weight we did not install the autonomous system until after the fuel efficiency competition,” says Henning Si Høj.

This year’s DTU Roadrunners is a very diverse group. In addition to Danes, the team includes participants from Greece, Poland, Germany and Switzerland.  

“We have had an incredibly committed and talented group of students on the team this year, who have used each other’s competences in the best possible way. So now we have to go out and recruit a new group of students for next year’s DTU Roadrunners, who must be just as committed to the project,” says Henning Si Høj.

You can keep updated about the next round of applications for DTU Roadrunners 2019 here.

DTU Roadrunners

DTU Road Runners is one of five so-called Blue Dot Projects, student-driven undertakings that cross boundaries between study programmes, semesters, and departments.