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Urban concept TIM UPS INSA

ACTIA and TIM UPS INSA: technology you can trust

On a sunny spring day, in the car park of the ACTIA Group’s head office and design office in Toulouse, employees are gathered around the star of the day: a very special vehicle quite different from the ones the engineers are used to working on. The vehicle attracting all the attention is the highly futuristic and high-performance TIM 07 – Urban Concept developed by the TIM (Toulouse Ingénierie Multidisciplinaire) team of students from UPS (Paul Sabatier University) and INSA (National Institute for Applied Sciences). On this particular day, the unusual vehicle is participating in speed and slalom trials in preparation for upcoming international competitions.

Urban concept 07
Urban Concept TIM 07 demonstration at the ACTIA group headquarters, 2022.

ACTIA as educational sponsor of the project

TIM 07 is a highly fuel-efficient vehicle. It is being developed by a handful of students who have formed an association with the task of contributing to the car of the future. The team is made up of multidisciplinary experts in mechanics, IT and electronics, all ready to take on the technological challenges of the most energy-efficient vehicle possible and embrace innovation, such as the extended expansion engine.

An Urban Concept worthy of the major manufacturers

TIM 07 is an Urban Concept: an ultra-light electric vehicle for urban areas. This prototype has a configuration of a seated driver, a luggage compartment, headlights, indicators and a CAN data network. Its streamlined design takes structural design techniques and the use of composites to the extreme. At 66 kg, it is by far the lightest Urban Concept in the world to date.

Impressive performances for the TIM team deprived of 2 years of trials and circuits

A “Pole Position” to defend

TIM UPS INSA is collecting world records. 9 TIM UPS INSA prototypes have already left the club’s workshop, increasingly lighter, higher performing and more energy-saving.

  • – From 2015 to 2017, it was equipped with an ethanol combustion engine and set the world record in the category with 711 km/l.
  • – In 2018, it was equipped with an electric engine and also broke the world record in this category with 188 km/kWh.
  • – In 2019, it broke the world speed record set with an Electric Urban Concept: 234.3 km/kWh.

These past achievements make the TIM UPS INSA a serious contender on the circuits. The team is putting all its energy into defending its position on the podiums.

2022 performances

Urban concept Tim UPS INSA 2022
Albi Eco Race 2022

As the 2020 and 2021 competitions were cancelled due to the health crisis, the students took to the track again with TIM 07 and TIM 09 and competed in the main Electric Urban Concept competitions.

They performed well and achieved:

  • 3rd place in the EcoGreen Gas challenge in Fay-de-Bretagne (44) in the “prototypes powered by bio-methane” category. The TIM 09 vehicle travelled 2218 km on the equivalent of one litre of unleaded 98 petrol.
  • 1st place in the general classification at the Albi Eco Race (81), with its TIM 07 Urban Concept. This competition consists of a regularity test, a handling test and a test to demonstrate the energy efficiency of electric vehicles.
  • 3rd place, with 242 km/kWh, at the Shell Eco Marathon Netherlands in Assen, in the Netherlands. The Shell Eco-Marathon is a global academic programme focusing on energy optimisation. It is one of the world’s leading competitions for engineering students.
  • – Finally, TIM has just qualified in 3rd place out of 50 teams, with 2056 km/l of ethanol, at the Shell Eco-Marathon Challenger Event, held at the Paul-Armagnac circuit in Nogaro in Gers, France. It takes place on an official track, not on an urban circuit like the Shell Eco Marathon.

The next prototype will be an AI-driven autonomous vehicle

Albi Eco race 2022

The team used the period of the health crisis to fine-tune its new Urban Concept: the TIM X. This will replace the TIM 07 in competitions from 2023 or 2024. TIM X will feature an aerodynamic improvement of over 15%, the result of simulation work that started in 2019 and continued during the 2020 lockdowns.
In addition to significant improvements such as lockable suspension and greater maintenance modularity, TIM X will eventually be a fully AI-driven autonomous vehicle.

TIM X also serves as a model for the VACOP [Open-Source Connected Autonomous Vehicle], an R&D platform project led by the Toulouse Campus of Smart Mobility and Transport Activities, of which ACTIA is also a member through the Mipirail, Automotech and TTI – Intelligent Land Transport – clusters.
The two vehicles will share many features such as the external shape which uses the same mould, and the software architecture.

ACTIA applauds the season’s fine performances on the circuits, the work accomplished by the students and the respectable contribution of the TIM UPS INSA association to the development of autonomous vehicles in the Occitanie region. ACTIA is proud to support such a team!

The TIM project is one of ACTIA’s partnership projects with INSA, among many others, since ACTIA is actively involved throughout the academic year, particularly through the INSA Foundation and the Gaston Berger Foundation, through:

  • – social actions ;
  • – innovation actions ;
  • – mentorship ;
  • – and bridging actions towards employment, etc.

We will be reporting on this in the near future.

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