UC Davis NATCAR Races

Natcar is a student design competition created in 1994 by Prof. Richard Spencer and engineers from National Semiconductor. UC Berkeley has been a long-time partner in the event. There is a final competition in May, generally held at UC Davis, in which many schools compete. Teams design, build and race autonomous vehicles on a track marked by 1″-wide white tape. Originally, there was a wire carrying a 75 kHz sinusoidal signal (100 mA rms) under the tape and many teams sensed the magnetic field around the wire. Since 2016, we no longer provide the wire under the tape and the sensing must be done optically.

The contest is intended for undergraduate students, but teams with graduate students, high-school students or student who have competed in a previous Natcar may attend the competition, although they will compete in a separate division.

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