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VMSVC 2019 Car Regulations, Section 9 (Car Specifications, or see below)

Section 9. Car Specification



The following is intended to be used as a quick reference guide only. It contains the important basics but does not cover all the detail. YOU MUST REFER TO THE COMPLETE REGULATIONS FOR FULL DETAILS. Remember that car design and construction is to be the work of students and only students are to undertake the operation and any repairs on cars, penalties for adult input will apply. (See Administration Section)

Note: These regulations apply to the Victorian event. If you are invited to participate in the AIMSC event ensure you read their regulations and make any modifications necessary to ensure your car complies with their regulations.

  • Maximum body dimensions: 500 mm long, 320 wide, 150 mm high and less than 190 mm from centre line of guide rail at all times.
  • Wheels: minimum width 1 mm or 0.6 mm radius at contact point with track.
  • Guiding: must be on the outside of the guide rail
  • Side panels: one each side, minimum 150 mm long by 80 mm wide and flat.
  • Cargo: The car must carry a standard tennis ball as cargo. This cargo must be carried at all time when engaged in time trials or racing.
  • Solar array: Practice will be conducted with an array provided by the competitors. All races and time trials will be conducted with the array provided by the organisers. See 9.4 for details. The array provided by the organisers will have a power output of 5.5 watts + or – 0.1 watts.
  • Wiring: all wiring and electronics (If used) must be visible, otherwise a circuit diagram is required.
  • ON-OFF switch: commercial switch clearly marked on and off is required.
  • Electronics: electronics of any kind may be used

Driver: The car must have space for a driver in the form of standard 50 gram egg. The egg must have the field of view specified and be protected from the weather. (Eggs will not be carried in the Victorian competition but will be carried in the AIMSC event.)


9.1 Test criteria

To be eligible to compete all cars must comply with these specifications.

Unless otherwise specified all references to car behaviour and measurements will assume that the car is on a flat, straight section of the track, and in full racing configuration.

9.2 No commercially built cars

Cars must not be commercially available or made from a single pre-designed commercially available kit. The intent of the competition is for the team to design their car from scratch; this may involve the use of commercially available components from kits or purchased separately put together to achieve the teams unique design.

9.3 Size limit

Maximum car size allowed is 500mm long, 150mm high and 320mm wide, at no time may any part of the car extend sideways more than 190mm from the centre of the guide rail.

9.4 Source of power

In all races and time trials the car must only use the solar array provided by the organisers and must operate only on the energy provided by this solar array during the course of the race.

The array provided will be configured to produce a power output of 5.5 + or – 0.1 watts at AM 1.5 conditions.

Details of this unit are included below. As this array will be provided immediately before a race and collected immediately after, car design must allow for installation and removal in less than 30 seconds.

Practice will be conducted with a solar array provided by the competitor. It is strongly suggested that this array have a maximum nominal power of 6 watts and similar characteristics to the panel which will be provided for racing.

The array provided by organisers is a Scorpio Number 26 solar panel mounted on an aluminium backing for protection see below for details.


Overall dimensions, length 276 to 280 mm not including the terminals, width 165 to 170 mm maximum height of sides 20 mm at terminal end other sides 12 mm.

Weight 240 plus or minus 15 grams.


Jaycar banana chassis sockets catalogue PS-0406 (red) PS-0408 (black) are mounted on one end.

The two sections of the panel have their positive and negative terminals brought out to these banana sockets allowing for connection in either series or parallel as desired by the competitors.

The banana sockets are spaced at a nominal 20 mm (+ or – 2mm) apart.


Velcro loop tape 25 mm wide is available all around the outer edge.

Array Power:

Each array will be configured to produce 5.5 watts + or – 0.1 watts at AM 1.5 conditions when connected in series. Typical electrical output of the provided array at AM 1.5 25 Deg. C when connected in series.

Volts open circuit 8.64

Volts at maximum power 6.88

Current at maximum power amps 0.808

Current short circuit 0.9

Maximum power watts 5.56

9.5 Use of electronic devices

Electronics of any kind are allowed, however any storage devices such as capacitors must be fully discharged at the start of the race.

9.6 ON/OFF switch

Each car must be fitted with a commercial ‘ON/OFF’ switch, the ON and OFF positions must be clearly marked.

9.7 Car wiring

All electrical wiring and electronic modules in the car must be reasonably visible. Teams will be required to explain any wiring going into sealed body areas. A simple block wiring diagram will be required if this condition is not met.

9.8 Motors

There is no restriction to the type, size, or number of motors that may be fitted to the car. However, the motor manufacturer and/or part number must be made available to the scrutineers for data base information.

9.9 Wheels

To reduce damage to the track, knife-edge wheels are not allowed. Each wheel must be at least 1mm wide or have a radius of 0.6mm on the running surface.

9.10 Steering

Each car must incorporate a means of steering around the track. The track is fitted with guide rails which are approximately 16mm wide and 13mm high. The steering mechanism must be designed to operate on the outside of the guide rail.

9.11 Cargo

The car must at all times when racing or engaging in time trials carry a standard size tennis ball, as would be used at the Australian Open. Teams will need to provide their own tennis ball of any brand, it must be undeformed and unmodified and in good enough condition to play a tennis match after the racing.

9.12 Side Panels

The car must have two rigid side panels, one of each side of the car, for attaching numbers and sponsors logos. These must be easily seen by spectators while the car is racing (they must not be hidden behind wheels or motors) and they must be flat. Each side panel must fit a sticker 150mm long and 80mm high. The sticker may not be trimmed by competitors

9.13 Autonomous operation

After the race has started the car must operate totally autonomously for the duration of that race. This means that team members or any other person must not provide any input of any type to the car during the course of the race. This of course means the use of any form of remote control, or even the operation of a mechanical switch by anything external to the car during a race is prohibited.

9.14 Non Conformance

If a car fails to conform to the requirements detailed in any section of the regulations it must be modified in order to conform or penalties may be imposed. Penalties will normally be in the form of the requirement to carry ballast weight. Minor non-conformances will typically attract a 50g penalty with this increasing to 200 g for more significant breaches of the regulations. The magnitude of penalty will be determined by the chief scrutineer in conjunction with the scrutineering team. In the event that the scrutineers believe the non-conformance gives the car a significant advantage unlikely to be negated by the carrying of ballast the car will be excluded from the event. Penalty decisions will be final and not open to appeal.

9.15 Structural Integrity

The car must be constructed such that the stresses of racing and normal handling will not cause damage. No responsibility will be accepted for any damage no matter how it occurs.

9.16 Driver

Each car will have space for a driver to navigate the track. The occupant will be a regular ~50g egg provided by the Committee. To see where they are going, the driver must have a windscreen with 180° vision in the horizontal plane and 90° upwards the forward vertical plane. This must apply for the top half of the egg as per figure 4 below.

The windscreen may include two struts, each up to 3mm in width within driver’s field of vision.

In the case of adverse weather, the driver would prefer to remain dry, so the cabin must be totally sealed

from the elements to prevent water getting inside – or broken egg on the track! The cabin must not be closer than 10mm to any part of the driver, so they have room to move and climb in and out of the seat.

Note: In the Victorian competition the egg driver will not be carried but the car must conform to the requirements above. For competitors attending the AIMSC event the egg driver will be carried. Refer to the AIMSC regulations.