The Solar Car Team took advantage of the warm, sunny day last week by going to the workspace to drive the car. The weekend’s workspace session was mostly geared towards making sure that all of the team members are familiar with the car. The engineering division reviewed and conducted the procedures to make sure the car is in ship-shape condition for team members to operate it safely.
Several new members of the strategy division were given an introduction in following the solar car in a “chase vehicle”. While in the chase vehicle (which is a regular car that follows the solar car), strategists focused on making sense of the telemetry information coming from the solar car. This information is communicated wirelessly and is displayed on a laptop that is carried within the chase vehicle. These numbers that are communicated to the laptop through specially designed computer software give the strategy division information regarding the solar car’s speed, energy intake, and energy output. The program also suggests the optimal speed at which to drive the solar car to maximize efficiency, given the weather conditions. However, a program’s analytical abilities can only do so much and is no substitute for the judgment of a good strategist. That’s why it is especially important that the strategy team members analyze the car in motion many times. In the end, the software is just a supplement to the most important thing a strategist can posses: intuition.