Team Firecracker of Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka after winning the #ShellSelamatSampai Varsity Challenge recently.-Courtesy of UTeM

A MONITORING system that alerts drivers on a potential collision has won first prize in the #ShellSelamatSampai Varsity Challenge (#SSS Varsity Challenge) 2019, an inter-varsity road safety innovation competition.

Five third-year Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) electrical and electronic engineering (robotics and industrial automation) students, who called themselves Team Firecracker, invented the system they named Change Lane Alert Assist (CLASs).

The winning team comprised Muhammad Isa Ishak, Aiman Afeeq Saliman Yuri, Muhammad Zikrul Azeem Zakaria, Nadiah Izzati Mohd Rafi and Mohd Faiq Aiman Ali, who received RM10,000, certificates and a trophy.

Aiman Afeeq, 23, said winning the competition of high calibre meant a lot to him and his teammates.

“It encourages us to expand our invention and ensure that it gets implemented not just in our university, but also across the nation. We believe our invention can help reduce road accidents.

“We are also happy that Shell has the NXplorers initiative, which introduced us to new critical-thinking tools and problem-solving methodologies that played a role in implementing our project,” he said.

Firecracker team leader Isa said the project was inspired by the Samsung smart truck concept.

“The concept uses a camera to detect blind spots, with four liquid-crystal display screens to warn the driver.

“Through knowledge gained in our course and the expertise of UTeM, we explored our creativity to produce the latest innovations according to the theme of the competition.”

Supervised by lecturer Siti Nur Suhaila Mirin, the team was also advised by UTeM Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technology Faculty deputy dean Dr Mohd Farriz Md Basar.

UTeM vice-chancellor Professor Dr Raha Abdul Rahim was overjoyed with the students’ success. Hoping that other faculty members and students would continue participating in innovative competitions, Raha said Team Firecracker’s win should inspire them to showcase the varsity’s culture that could benefit the community.

Based on their project proposals, 20 teams were selected and each was given RM1,000 to produce a prototype in eight weeks. At the end, the best five were shortlisted.

The grand final saw teams from Universiti Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and UTeM presenting theirprototypes.

The panel of judges comprised Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research senior researcher Dr Ahmad Azad Rashid, Education Ministry Higher Education Department principal assistant director Erina Ismail and Shell Malaysia human resource director Shazmi Ali.

Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd managing director Shairan Huzani Husain said the younger generation was very much inclined towards technology.

“As such, we need to play our role in nurturing their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through creative methods.

“The number of road fatalities in our country is very high, with more than 70 per cent involving motorcyclists.

“We aim to share the Shell safety culture with society and contribute towards reducing road accidents by empowering our youth to leverage technology and innovation.”

Themed “Powering Minds of the Future”, Shell Malaysia showcased its STEM initiatives at the #mydigitalmaker Fair 2019 in collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation recently.

Other initiatives were the #MyGeekMovement, Shell NXplorers and the futuristic Shell Eco-Marathon fuel and energy-efficient prototype vehicles.

The fair, which saw the Shell saltwater-powered supercars being premiered, was held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur recently.