EcoCAR Overview and VDP

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Competition Goals

EcoCAR is a collegiate automotive engineering competition aimed at developing a highly skilled workforce by providing students with hands-on experience designing and building next-generation mobility solutions aimed at meeting our nation’s future energy and mobility challenges.

Over the course of the competition, students on the Georgia Tech EcoCAR team will develop skills in a multitude of disciplines. Key elements of the competition include model-based vehicle design, propulsion system integration, computing hardware and sensor selection and integration, hybrid vehicle controls development, and vehicle testing.

At the conclusion of the competition’s four-year vehicle development process, the Georgia Tech team will have designed and implemented a market-ready hybrid electric vehicle with team-designed adaptive cruise control, SAE Level 2 automation, and Vehicle-to-X connectivity - all intended to improve fuel economy and the overall mobility experience.

Vehicle Development Process

The EcoCAR Vehicle Development Process (VDP) mimics that used by GM for its vehicle development. However, given that the competition focuses on system modifications to a production vehicle, certain deliverables (such as body structure, vehicle styling, interior, crashworthiness) are not required.

The figure below presents a high-level schedule for the four years of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge.


Each year of the competition is concluded in May with an end-of-year competition. During these end-of-year competitions, the 12 competing teams gather over multiple days to compete in vehicle dynamic events, conduct consumer appeal showcases, and present their design and refinement efforts to industry sponsors.


  • Colorado State University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • McMaster University
  • Mississippi State University
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • University of Washington
  • University of Waterloo
  • Virginia Tech
  • West Virginia University

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