“The Ohio State University Snags EcoCar Mobility Challenge Win And $10,000
The EcoCAR Mobility Challenge for 2019 concluded and the Ohio State Team won this year’s top prize by coming up with what is a redesign of the Chevy Blazer. The aim of the project was to take that car and make it more efficient and adapted to the coming age of automobiles. To elaborate, this meant that they would be spending their time coming up with ideas to apply propulsion systems that are different, electrify most of the vehicle, take it to SAE level 2 automation and increase vehicle connectivity. This was all done to an SUV while taking into account details like emissions, acceptability by the market and safety standards.
The vehicles that were in the competition also needed to be semi-automated and ready for use in the car sharing market. The EcoCAR competition is a four-year collegiate competition in engineering that usually ends with the vehicles that have been converted undergoing testing. For the initial year, the 12 teams in competition were tasked with coming up with ideas to make user interface technologies, powertrains and sensors for functionality purposes.
With a market that demands more in terms of in-car technologies every year, it was essential to start with this section of the car to make sure that functionality using modern features was integrated into the overall product.
The emerging markets for better cars in Brazil, Asia, Africa and the Middle East is fueling an economy that is geared towards a sustainable way of commuting. When it comes to ridesharing, many concerns have been expressed especially when it comes to self-driving cars and how safe they need to be before they can be left to fully operate in an automatic way.
The students who won the prize have several more steps to go and we cannot wait to see what they come up with. The potential that exists in the colleges of our country is only limited by access to funding and a platform that can allow ingenuity to take place.
Apart from what they were asked to do for this first year, they would also have to come up with new code for the cars Operating Systems. In this first year, OSU scored 887 points out of the possible 1000 points and got a $10,000 prize. Virginia Tech was second runners up and University of Alabama took third place.
Competitions like this one are not just conducted for the wins. We have multiple contestant with great ideas coming together in one place to show what they have. We get to learn from the winners and the runners up too. There is bound to be something that the rest got right that the winners may have missed.
It is a bright new frontier that is promising to churn out more ingenious ideas that will help us win the battle against climate change, even though we are playing on the losing side at the moment.
EcoCAR is run by the U.S. Department of Energy and the main sponsors are General Motors and MathWorks.”