The US Department of Energy (DOE), General Motors and MathWorks launched the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, the latest DOE-sponsored Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC), revealed the 12 competing universities and named the Chevrolet Blazer as the vehicle platform selected for the competition.
The headline sponsors are the US Department of Energy, General Motors, and MathWorks, and the challenge is managed by Argonne National Laboratory.
EcoCAR is a collegiate automotive competition aimed at developing a highly skilled, domestic workforce by providing hands-on experience designing and building next-generation mobility solutions to meet our nation’s future energy and mobility challenges.
Participating teams will apply advanced propulsion systems, electrification, SAE Level 2 automation, and vehicle connectivity to improve the energy efficiency of a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer—all while balancing factors such as emissions, safety, utility, and consumer acceptability. SAE Level 2 automation refers to a vehicle that combines automated functions, like acceleration and steering, but the driver must remain engaged with the driving task and monitor the environment at all times.
EcoCAR teams will use onboard sensors and wireless communication from the vehicles surrounding environment to improve overall operation efficiency in the connected urban environment of the future.
General Motors will provide each team with a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, which they have four years to design, integrate and refine into a new, advanced technology, energy-efficient mobility solution for the carsharing market. Teams will follow a real-world vehicle development process to meet rigorous technical constraints throughout the four-year competition, which will conclude in the summer of 2022.
A foundational principle of EcoCAR is the use of Model-Based Design, a mathematical and visual design approach using MATLAB and Simulink that enables users to quickly and cost-effectively manage projects, collaborate on designs, and develop complex embedded systems.
To be successful, universities will need to recruit a diverse team of students and faculty, spanning many engineering disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, computer and software engineering, as well as communications, marketing and project management. This multi-disciplinary emphasis imitates a real-world automotive industry environment and provides graduates the technical and leadership skills needed to enter the field fully prepared for careers that will help shape the energy and mobility industry for years to come.
The participating universities include:
- Colorado State University
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Georgia Tech
- McMaster University
- Mississippi State University
- The Ohio State University
- University of Alabama
- University of Tennessee, Knoxville
- University of Washington
- University of Waterloo
- Virginia Tech
- West Virginia University
Other participating sponsors include: NXP Semiconductors, Inc.; National Science Foundation; Intel Corporation; American Axle Manufacturing; Robert Bosch, LLC; PACCAR, Inc.; dSPACE, Inc.; Siemens PLM Software; Denso International America; Horiba; Delphi Technologies; California Air Resources Board; Proterra, Inc; tesa Tape; Vector North America, Inc.; The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.