Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Digital dashboard displays with critical driver information are found in all modern vehicles. Examples of such information available to the driver include a speedometer, odometer, engine RPM, fuel gauge and more. The current 2016 Sunseeker solar car already has numerous displays that can show critical information to the driver, however, there are several problems that exist. Each display itself is less than two inches in size, the text on the screens is difficult to read, and the measurements have no units. Furthermore, these displays were made by a company that no longer exists, thus preventing the solar car team from purchasing any more for their 2020 version of the vehicle. Therefore, the next version of the Sunseeker solar car required a next generation driver display that supports strict power, weight, and space considerations. A 7-inch full-color LCD touch screen display with a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) was chosen as the new digital dashboard of the solar car. This display was integrated into the Driver Control unit of the existing solar car, which already possessed some of the critical driver information. The new Display and Driver Control (DDC) unit integrates in a single subsystem driver switches, controls, accelerator measurements, and CAN bus communications with interfacing for the display. CAN bus data and software programming allow for a screen of customized vehicle information to be available to the driver. A custom printed circuit board and housing has been designed, developed and tested, resulting in a DDC with fewer electronic modules, less wires and cables, and significantly greater capability than before.
McCarthy, Conner, "Sunseeker Solar Car Display and Driver Unit" (2020). Honors Theses. 3281.
Honors Thesis-Open Access