Tech Takes Third in EcoCAR 3 Competition
Georgia Tech’s EcoCAR 3 team recently wrapped up year three of its four-year competition, take home third place overall and first place in technical aspects of the event.
EcoCAR 3 is a student competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors. Sixteen North American universities are challenged to redesign a Chevrolet Camaro to reduce its environmental impact, while maintaining the muscle, body design, and performance expected from the iconic American car.
The 2017 competition began in Milford, Michigan, at the General Motors Proving Ground, where the 16 teams endured a week of rigorous safety, technical, drive quality, and emissions tests. Following testing, the teams made presentations in Washington, D.C., to show judges why they chose their specific engineering techniques. This year, Tech placed first in its Mechanical, ADAS/Innovation, and SMS and Controls presentations.
For Molly Jackson, communications manager for the team, the team’s progression since year one — when it placed 15th overall — has been rewarding, as has forming relationships with other participants.
“The students and faculty on each team are driven and encouraging, and it’s nice to develop friendships over friendly rivalries,” Jackson said.
They were also one of only 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.
“We learned from our mistakes in year one and were able to move up six places the second year, taking home ninth overall,” Jackson said. “This year, the team focused on vehicle integration, attention to detail, and teamwork to bring back third place.”
Next year, the team plans to fully integrate its Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) App, a system designed to create a smoother, more interactive experience for the driver.
The Georgia Tech EcoCAR 3 team is part of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program. VIP projects bring together undergraduate education and faculty research in a team-based context.