Formula Student is an international product development competition aimed for the students of engineering and automotive technology. Student teams from around the world design, build, test, and race a single-seat formula style racing car, which are then judged on a number of criteria.
At TalTech, we are proud to host Formula Student Team Tallinn residing here since 2006. Today’s interview is featuring three young men - Georg Kõivumägi, Kaarel Haavajõe and Tauri Tammaru - who not only know how to build a car but also are already actively doing it themselves.
If you have to describe Formula Student in couple of lines…
Georg: Formula Student is the project of two universities — TalTech and Tallinn University of Applied Sciences. Nowadays there are 201 teams in the Formula Student Electric competition in the world, and we are currently at the place 8. We are the only active team in Baltic region and the top team in East European region. As a rule, we work on the cars in the period from September till May, while in summer it is mainly time for the competitions. Formula Student is open not only for engineering but also for business and software students. Because apart from building electric cars, we are also working on driverless ones, write business plans, market ourselves and develop connections with the sponsors. In total, we have built 13 cars and starting from 2 years ago we are also developing a driverless car.
One Formula — two teams
Georg: At the moment, we have 49 team members in the electric car division and 15 in the driverless car one. We share the working space but that is quite it. On a daily basis we don’t get to connect with each other that much, but if one part of the team has a problem we get in touch to solve it together. We share knowledge and software if needed, and all the things alike.
We have started with the driverless car in 2018. The reason is that Formula Student series were actually created by the automotive industry to prepare young engineers for the work in the field. Therefore, the direction of the car industry is reflected in the tendencies in the Student Formula. This way, after the driverless category has become important about 4–5 year ago, we have started working on it and have developed our first driverless car in 2019.