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US Department of Energy, General Motors and MathWorks launch EcoCAR Mobility Challenge

12 universities will participate in the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge

The US Department of Energy (DOE), General Motors and MathWorks have announced the launch of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, the latest DOE-sponsored Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC), revealing the 12 competing universities and the Chevrolet Blazer as the vehicle platform selected for the competition.

The challenge is managed by Argonne National Laboratory, making EcoCAR the ultimate training ground for future leaders in the automotive industry.

“The future of transportation and mobility is evolving and bringing forth new technologies, challenges, and opportunities” said acting assistant secretary Cathy Tripodi. “The EcoCAR Mobility Challenge allows students to develop innovative technologies to keep America at the forefront of this changing landscape and provide consumers convenient, cost-effective options for personal mobility.”

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.

“We continue to support EcoCAR because students gain tremendous technical insights, leadership skills and hands-on experience while competing in AVTCs,” said GM vice-president for global propulsion systems Dan Nicholson. “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.”

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.

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