May 19th-22nd, more than 300 EcoCAR students, faculty, sponsors, and organizers gathered in Atlanta, Georgia for the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Year One competition. This weeklong event marked the culmination of the first academic year of the competition and challenged 12 North American student teams to re-engineer a 2019 Chevy Blazer, provided by sponsor, General Motors (GM). Students were tasked with utilizing electrification, advanced propulsion systems and SAE Level 2 automation to improve the energy efficiency, safety, and consumer appeal of their vehicle for the carsharing market, proving that they are the next generation leading and creating the future of mobility.
The EcoCAR competition puts the student in the driver’s seat, providing a real-world training ground for them to gain hands-on experience following a four-year vehicle development process to design, integrate, and refine efficient mobility solutions. The full competition process will conclude in the summer of 2022.
All 12 teams used onboard sensors and wireless communication from the vehicles surrounding environment to improve overall operation efficiency in the connected urban environment of the future. Technical presentations illustrated their ideas ranging from propulsion system integration to connected and automated vehicle technologies, where teams argued for the viability of their designs and showcased the culmination of their yearlong effort to government and industry judges.
Throughout the competition, participants had the opportunity to attend events like the Opening Ceremony at Georgia Tech with an introduction from Dr. Larry Jacobs, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and tours of the campus and engineering facilities provided by the Georgia Tech team. Attendees also had the chance to experience a Welcome Night event at the Painted Duck, and an EcoCAR Fun Night Event at the College Football Hall of Fame, sponsored by General Motors and PACCAR.
Siemens is a sustaining partner and sponsor of the competition, providing students with software that the teams need to integrate technologies into their competition vehicles, and giving them access to components and systems that might otherwise be unavailable or too expensive for them to use. This year, Siemens had an opportunity to participate in the EcoCAR Sponsor Social Recruiting & Networking event and were able to engage with the 200+ EcoCAR students in attendance.
The Ohio State University took home the first-place award, with Virginia Tech in second place and the University of Alabama in third. The accomplished teams were celebrated at the competition finale on May 22nd, with the EcoCAR Awards Reception sponsored by MathWorks and an Awards Ceremony at the Fox Theatre, where Ohio State was awarded an extra $10,000 to further support the university’s advanced vehicle
As DOE finishes up another year of the AVTC program and head towards Year Two of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, they would like to extend their sincere gratitude for making this year a true success. Without the dedication and commitment from their sponsors, the program would not be what it is today.
Take a look at the highlights of the competition and share in the students’ excitement as they conclude year one of the series!