EcoCAR University Teams to Retool 2019 Chevy Blazer


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), General Motors and MathWorks have launched the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, the latest DOE-sponsored Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC).

The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory is managing EcoCar, a collegiate automotive competition that provides hands-on experience designing and building next-generation mobility solutions to meet the nation’s future energy and mobility challenges.

The 12 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 has combined automated functions, such as acceleration and steering, but the driver must remain engaged with the driving task and monitor the environment at all times.

GM will provide each team with the Blazer, which they have four years to work on. Teams will follow a real-world vehicle development process to meet rigorous technical constraints throughout the competition, which will conclude in summer 2022.

“We continue to support EcoCAR because students gain tremendous technical insights, leadership skills and hands-on experience while competing in AVTCs,” says Dan Nicholson, GM’s vice president of global propulsion systems. “The challenges and solutions these students will develop working with their Chevrolet Blazers align with GM’s path to zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”

The universities will recruit a multidisciplinary team of students and faculty, imitating a real-world automotive industry environment.

The participating universities include as follows:

Colorado State University (Fort Collins, Colo.)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, Fla.)
Georgia Tech (Atlanta)
McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario)
Mississippi State University (Starkville, Miss.)
The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)
University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, Tenn.)
University of Washington (Seattle)
University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario)
Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.)
West Virginia University (Morgantown, W.Va)

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