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It might be unthinkable, yet it did happen.

The University of Lagos community developed a racing car which beat many competitors at a global automobile competition

It is a racing car! It is one that may not be too common in this part of the world but was conceived, developed and put to test here and abroad. Known as Autonov II, the racing car is a brainchild of staff and students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and has competed for, and gained fame on the global automobile stage.

Fuel-efficient and electronically-powered, the design, fabrication and running of Autonov II had been funded solely by Shell Petroleum Plc. The racing car had participated alongside automobile inventions from other 203 tertiary institutions across the world at a car racing competition in the Netherlands, emerging the third best overall.

Twenty students and lecturers of the school were said to have done the bulk of the work on Autonov II. From the Department of Mechanical Engineering to those of Creative Arts, Physics, Mass Communication, Electrical/Electronic and Architecture, the students were assembled and after a two-month intensive exercise, Autonov II was developed.

“We started by building the skill-set we needed. We built the designs, the fraction, the china system and the body, among others and those who could integrate all of these together did. Of course, this has to be carried out by the students. When we finished, we selected the team we wanted. What we did was to advertise and ask that students who possess various skills we needed should indicate by applying. We interviewed them and selected a team of 20 students which we later pruned,” Prof. Ikem Owete, leader of the team that manufactured Autonov II narrated.

Based on its feat at the Netherlands, the UNILAG has been invited to participate in a similar competition coming up in Cape Town, South Africa in October. The school expects to have developed another car before then for the competition.


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