SAE International's Collegiate Design Series (CDS) competitions take students beyond textbook theory by enabling them to design, build, and test the performance of a real vehicle and then compete with other students from around the globe in exciting and intense competitions.
The competition prepares students in a variety of disciplines for future employment in mobility-related industries by challenging them with a hands-on, team engineering experience that also requires budgeting, communication, project management, and resource management skills.
The concept behind Formula SAE is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a student design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The prototype race car is to be evaluated for its potential as a production item. The target marketing group for the race car is the non-professional weekend autocross racer.
Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules, whose purpose is both ensuring on-track safety (the cars are driven by the students themselves) and promoting clever problem solving.