The US Department of Energy and General Motors announced The Ohio State University (OSU) as the overall winning team for Year One of the EcoCAR 3 competition, a four-year collegiate engineering program that gives students the chance to design, build, and demonstrate cutting-edge, eco-friendly automotive technologies in the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. (Earlier post.) Virginia Tech and the University of Waterloo took second and third place respectively.
The judges decided that OSU showed all-around excellence in Year One, demonstrating a highly mature software development process, and as a result received a trophy, $10,000 and repeat winner bragging rights. The team earned a total of 937 points out of 1,000 and also took first place in the Communications and Project Management categories. Judges were impressed by their efforts in identifying a target market for their vehicle and branding strategy, including the tagline: “Classic.Recharged.”
As part of the EcoCAR 3 Competition, each university team chose a different innovation that they will incorporate into their competition vehicle. OSU’s was DRIVE: Driver Recommendation for Increased Vehicle Efficiency—an infotainment system that allows the driver to input a destination, then calculates the most efficient route and velocity to that destination.
This year really lays the foundation vehicle development, which is critical step in the process for future success. We have already begun vehicle dynamic analysis for next year and are excited to share some of our innovative features we plan to integrate into our vehicle.—M.J. Yatsko, OSU Engineering Manager
The competing 16 North American university teams gathered in Seattle for several days of judged competition. Throughout the events, teams put their designs to the test, giving presentations to industry and government professionals based on their mechanical, electrical, control strategies, project initiation approval, outreach, project management, trade show display, and innovation topics.
The first year of EcoCAR 3 emphasized the use of math-based design tools and simulation techniques for designing a successful vehicle architecture that reduces energy consumption, well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions and tailpipe emissions. Each team will receive their 2016 Camaro this fall.
In years two, three and four, students will rebuild the vehicle based on their new architecture and continue to refine, test and improve the vehicle’s operation.
Without having the full picture of the attributes of the new 2016 Camaro, the students from The Ohio State University were able to develop a strategy that can turn this high-performance vehicle into a cutting-edge, eco-friendly alternative. Not only does the 2016 Camaro’s leaner, stiffer platform provide an optimal base vehicle for these students to achieve their powertrain goals, the exterior of the vehicle was designed to specifically enhance efficiency.—Al Oppenheiser, Chevrolet Camaro Vehicle Chief Engineer
Established by DOE and GM, and managed by Argonne National Laboratory, EcoCAR 3 is the latest Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) aimed at developing the next generation of automotive leaders. The four-year program concludes summer 2018.
Additional sponsors joining the DOE and GM include the following: MathWorks, California Air Resources Board, Freescale, Clean Cities, AVL Powertrain Engineering, Robert Bosch, LLC, ETAS, PACCAR, dSPACE, Snap-On, Siemens PLM Software, GKN Driveline, Transportation Research Center, Denso, Champlain Cable, Woodward, Proterra, Ricardo, Mentor Graphics, New Eagle, Tesa Tape, Vector, Delphi, EcoMotors, EPRI, A123 Systems, and Flextronics.
EcoCAR 3 sponsors have provided more than $718 million in software, hardware and cash donations to the 16 participating universities in just the first year. The majority of this contribution is software, stressing the design emphasis of the program’s first year.