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News

The future belongs to cars that glide on a magnetic lane

Delft University Of Technology : 30 November, 2006  (Technical Article)
High school design competition: fuTUre Design Delft, In the future, vehicles will be powered by means of electrical induction magnets. This is the vision of the future according to Maurits Kroese, winner of the fuTUre Design Delft design competition. During the final day of this design competition for Dutch high school students (VWO and HAVO), Kroese presented his IMP (Induction Magnet Propelled vehicle), a vehicle that glides in a magnetic lane and, owing to its aerodynamic design, has a low wind-resistance. Kroese's design won him a holiday by air.
Because the IMP glides, it has no rolling resistance and therefore uses small amounts of energy, Kroese surmised. The vehicle can reach speeds of 600 km/ph and does so with extremely low noise levels. In order to present a clearer picture of how the world will look using the IMP, Kroese also made a fine animation film to accompany his design.

Second prize in the competition was won by The Bulletway, an idea of Stefan Kaag and Maurice Boon. Their idea also used electrical magnets. Existing modes of transport are placed inside a 'Bullet' (a type of capsule), which, with the help of magnets, is propelled through a tunnel system, reaching speeds of 500 km/ph. Third prize was awarded to the Perpetuum, a superbly designed car that is powered by 'Fusatie', a combination of nuclear fusion and laser technology that was devised by Warner van Haaren, Ad van der Veer and William Goudswaard.

The Originality Prize was awarded to team C&M for the Part Cart, a mode of transport for medicines and donor organs. Zeusje, the idea of Hot Lightnin', won the Public's Prize, having received the most votes via Internet. Zeusje is powered by electricity that is derived from lightning.

On the final day of the competition, approximately 17 teams conducted research to determine the feasibility of their design ideas. This research involved testing the aerodynamically designed scale models in a wind tunnel, among other research methods. The tests enabled a team to determine that for example it was inconceivable to use human hair as a fuel source, because the burning of the hair produced little energy.

With the FuTUre Design Delft design competition, Delft University of Technology challenged the secondary school students to think about sustainable means of transportation. No idea was deemed too wild, as long as it led to a cleaner environment.

By following in the footsteps of TU Delft students whose solar car Nuna 3 won the World Solar Challenge in Australia, and Wubbo Ockels' and his Superbus project, these high school students have now designed their own future means of transport. Under the guidance of TU Delft instructors and students, the participating high school students were helped step by step to give shape to their ideas. 82 teams, of two to four HAVO/VWO (third-years or older) high school students from across the Netherlands, submitted design ideas.

The 2006 fuTUre Design Delft jury included TU Delft's Rector Magnificus, Jacob Fokkema; Wubbo Ockels, the former astronaut; and Sevil Sariyildiz professor of Technical Design and Computer Science. The jury was extremely impressed by the excellence, innovativeness and creativity of the submitted design ideas.
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