The Georgia Tech team won third place overall and second place in the technical part of the Year Three phase of EcoCAR 3, a four-year student competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) and General Motors. The event took place May 14-25 in Milford, Michigan and Washington, D.C.
The Georgia Tech team consists of about 50 undergraduate and graduate students from the Schools of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Mechanical Engineering (ME), Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE), and Computer Science (CS), and 12 students from the group attended the competition. Advised by ECE Professor David G. Taylor, ChBE Professor Thomas F. Fuller, and ME Associate Professor Michael J. Leamy, the Georgia Tech EcoCAR 3 team is part of the Vertically Integrated Projects Program.
The EcoCAR 3 competition requires the 16 participating teams from universities across the United States and Canada to design, build, and integrate their hybrid-electric designs into a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, with the end goal of making the vehicle more energy-efficient without losing high-performance and safety features that Camaro buyers expect.
The first week of this year’s competition was spent at the Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan for dynamic vehicle testing, and the second week in Washington, D.C. featured formal presentations and a “ride and drive” event at DoE headquarters.
During the last few years of the overall portion of the competition, the Georgia Tech team has improved on a steep trajectory, placing 15th in year one, ninth in year two, and now placing third this year. In addition to their third place and second place finishes, Georgia Tech also won prizes for Best Mechanical Presentation, Best System Modeling Simulation and Controls Presentation, and Best Demonstration of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. They were also only one of four teams to complete a 100+ mile endurance test — and the only one to do it on the first try — to measure efficiency and emissions. The team also won $12,000 in prize money that will be used to improve the car for next year.
ECE undergraduate and graduate students who took part in the EcoCAR 3 competition were Lee Sargent, Andrew Fillingim, Aravind Balasubramanian, Sandhya Sridhar, Sungwoo Han, Jessica Britt, and Sean McNeil. According to Taylor, due to the nature of the work that was prioritized this year, ECE students held many of the core leadership roles in the third year of this event.
To learn more about the Georgia Tech EcoCAR 3 team, visit their website at http://www.vip.gatech.edu/teams/ecocar-collegiate-competition-team.