Dynamic Events at the GM Desert Proving Ground

Yuma DPG

On day one of competition, students will anxiously line up outside the garage at General Motor’s Desert Proving Ground in Yuma, AZ, in order to get the earliest start possible on making sure their vehicles are ready for the week’s dynamic events. The year-end competition is the time when students will prove to the judges just how well their vehicles have been designed and executed. The dynamic events they will take part in at the Yuma portion of the competition are:

  • On-Road Safety Evaluation – Safety comes first with EcoCAR 3, and students must first past a static safety evaluation, before then taking their vehicle out of the garage to make sure that everything is running in good working order.
  • Handling Event – During this event, a GM driver will evaluate how well the vehicle handles with the new powertrain as they drive the vehicle on a constant-radius turn at increasing vehicle speed, and will consider such factors as weight distribution, spring and bar selection, and tire characteristics.
  • ADAS Vehicle Evaluation – This event is designed to evaluate the teams’ Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) and how well it is integrated into their vehicle. The on-track event will test this and the teams’ algorithms for object detection, tracking, range estimation, and will have to perform maneuvers around another vehicle.
  • AVL Drive Quality – The balance between fuel economy and drive quality is one of the most important aspects of the Vehicle Development Process. This event will assess the vehicles’ drive quality while the accelerator pedal is kept at a fixed position.
  • Ride Quality Event – For this event, a GM driver will take the vehicles on courses that include bumps, ride swells, broken and cracked pavement, and spalled concrete to evaluate the vehicles’ Ride Quality performance.
  • Emissions and Energy Consumption Event – This 90-mile event measures the fuel and electric energy consumed by the vehicles using a repeating drive schedule designed to emulate the EPA tests used for ‘window sticker’ fuel economy. The vehicles are also evaluated for petroleum energy use, air pollution (criteria emissions), and well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions. The event is scheduled at night, keeping the competition running around the clock!

You can keep up with the events as they happen here on the blog, so make sure to check back during the competition for updates! To see the full list of EcoCAR 3 Year 4 events, CLICK HERE!