News Column

General Motors Chevrolet Camaro to Serve as Platform for EcoCAR 3

April 30, 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors Co. announced the official launch of the EcoCAR 3 competition, introducing the 16 participating universities and revealing the Chevrolet Camaro as the vehicle selected as the platform for the competition.

"EcoCAR is an opportunity for the next generation of automotive engineers to help design and build innovative advanced vehicles that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment and save American families and businesses money at the pump," said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. "Through this competition, North American students gain valuable real-life experience that they can use to bring the auto industry into the cleaner energy future."

General Motors said participating university teams will be challenged to design, develop, and integrate powertrains into the vehicle that, when compared to the production gasoline vehicle, will:

-Adjust energy consumption;

-Adjust well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions;

-Adjust criteria tailpipe emissions;

-Maintain consumer demand in the areas of performance, utility, and safety; and

-Meet energy and environmental goals, while considering cost and solutions.

The competition introduces students to software tools and powertrain components and challenges them to face similar engineering design constraints and technical challenges that automakers face, resulting in a real-world training ground for automotive engineering students that is unparalleled in the academic environment. New for EcoCAR 3, the organizers are ramping up the challenge by adding cost constraints as well as automotive solutions as additional judging criteria.

"The EcoCAR programs have been and will continue to be an instrumental part of developing the next generation of automotive engineers. We have gained significant talent and intellectual property as a result of these programs," said James Kolhoff, global chief engineer and program manager, transmission controllers and powertrain electronics at General Motors. "We're also eager to see how the students will redesign and add more efficiency to an iconic 'muscle car' like the Chevrolet Camaro."

To be successful, universities will need to recruit a team spanning many engineering disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, computer and software engineering, as well as communications, marketing, and project management. The multi- disciplinary emphasis imitates a real-world automotive industry environment and gives graduates the skills to enter the field fully prepared for their careers.

Established by the Energy Department 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 engineers. The four-year program will conclude in the summer of 2018.

EcoCAR 3 includes both new teams and veterans to the AVTC. After a rigorous application and selection process, the schools chosen are:

-Arizona State University -- Tempe, Ariz.

-California State University - Los Angeles

-Colorado State University -- Fort Collins, Colo.

-Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University -- Daytona Beach, Fla.

-Georgia Tech -- Atlanta

-McMaster University -- Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

-Mississippi State University -- Starrkville, Miss.

-The Ohio State University -- Columbus, Ohio

-Pennsylvania State University - University Park, Pa.

-University of Alabama -- Tuscaloosa, Ala.

-University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.

-University of Washington, Seattle

-University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

-Virginia Tech - Blacksburg, Va.

-Wayne State University -- Detroit

-West Virginia University -- Morgantown, WVa.

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Source: Travel & Leisure Close - Up

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