The Ohio State University has been named The EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Year One champion, taking the lead in the premier four-year collegiate engineering competition managed by Argonne National Laboratory. Rounding out the top three are Virginia Tech in second place and the University of Alabama in third place.
“American consumers and businesses rely on transportation every day for jobs, schools, and commerce. We need advanced energy technologies that enable affordable, reliable transportation options, strengthen energy security, and grow our economy,” said Daniel Simmons, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. “Students in the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge are our future innovators and technology leaders that will keep America’s transportation sector moving forward.”
EcoCAR – the latest U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition sponsored by General Motors and MathWorks – challenges 12 North American universities to 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 and consumer acceptability. Teams have four years (2018-2022) to transform their vehicles from design concept into reality, building an energy efficient, connected and semi-automated vehicle for the car sharing market.
Year One is for the big thinkers. Throughout the year, the students strived to conceptualize and build the framework for their redesigned Chevrolet Blazers. There are no vehicles yet, so it’s up to the teams to engineer solutions from scratch, research user-interface components, powertrains and sensors to build around, as well as write and validate new code.
“The knowledge and skills these students developed during a year of vehicle architecture planning and design are highly coveted in industry,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, Global Electrification, Controls, Software and Electronics at General Motors. “Our GM mentors enjoy working with each team and seeing the creativity and passion competitors have for creating advanced, efficient, connected vehicles. We congratulate Ohio State on their win, and we’re already looking forward to year two.”
“It’s always impressive to see the success students realize when tasked with solving real world engineering problems with industry-standard hardware and software,” said Lauren Tabolinsky, academic program manager, MathWorks. “Student competitions like EcoCAR Mobility Challenge help to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers by providing hands-on technical experience, building collaboration skills and offering a project-based learning opportunity.”
Additional sponsors joining the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and MathWorks, include NXP, National Science Foundation, Intel, American Axle & Manufacturing, Bosch, PACCAR, dSPACE, Siemens, Denso, Horiba, AVL, Delphi Technologies, California Air Resources Board, tesa tape, Vector, Electric Power Research Institute and Proterra.
For more information about The EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, please visit https://avtcseries.org/ecocar-mobility-challenge/.