John Tolley, November 3, 2018
What is going on this weekend? In yesterday's article, we covered the truly expansive work Michigan State is doing to bring driverless cars to our streets in a safe and smart way. And, now this.
Research Rumble is coming in hot on four wheels as we have two stories of Big Ten universities putting the pedal to the metal? when it comes to expand automotive know-how and roadside safety. In this week's battle of brainy brawn, cars are the star in more ways than one, but only one can emerge victorious, only one can reign supreme, only one can be crowned? eh, to be clear, we don't have a crown, no one "wins" because both stories are great in their own way and we're just kind of having a little fun here.
In one corner, from off the plains of Nebraska come the legendary Cornhuskers whose Midwest Roadside Safety Facility is at the leading-edge of protecting motorists across the nation with innovative measures to ensure top-notch travel.
In the other corner, the Buckeye Bullet, the fastest electric car in the world. This completely student-designed and maintained vehicle can be seen - don't blink - lighting out across the Bonneville Salt Flats at speeds topping 341 MPH.
Now we say unto you, in the words of our forefather, "Let us prepare ourselves to Rumble, post-haste!!!"
At the University of Nebraska, safety on our nation's highways is serious business, as evidenced by their cutting-edge Midwest Roadside Safety Facility (MRSF), a leading laboratory for the development and testing of the equipment that helps mitigate injury and loss of life in car crashes.
"When you're travelling along the highways and freeways, you take it for granted that everything is going to be great for you," says Ron Faller, MRSF director and an associate research professor at Nebraska. "Behind the scenes, there are teams, like our organization, that design a safer roadside for you when you're going to see mom and dad or grandma and grandpa for the holidays."
Here's an interesting fact: more people have walked on the surface of the moon than have driven 400 miles per hour.
But, if The Ohio State University student engineers and designers helming the Venturi Buckeye Bullet team meet their goals, they'll chipping away at that ratio. Their long and lean automobile has already top 350 miles per hour at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats proving ground, but it is what's under the hood that's really turning heads: the Buckeye Bullet is a completely electric vehicle.
"We want to show the world what this technology can do," says Michael Johanni, a former student team leader turned staff advisor to the team. "Automotive innovation is born on the race track, and we're pushing the limits to see what is possible.