Freescale is a key sponsor of the EcoCAR 2 competition in general and of Wayne State University (WSU) in particular. In addition to providing components to the team, Freescale also offers support and training for the team’s members. Freescale is a designer and producer of semiconductor devices that specifically focuses on microcontrollers and microprocessors, which are the brains behind electronic control units.
During the design phase of Year One Wayne State had a problem when its supervisory controllers were not able to drive the necessary loads. John Cotner from Freescale worked closely with the team to determine the necessary specifications for the various loads and recommended analog driver components. He then helped the team design the loads into the high-side and low-side driver enclosures.
One of the main benefits of student-sponsor collaboration is the exposure students get to the real-world auto industry. Real designs, especially in the automotive industry, aren’t made from the ground up – instead, they start with a preexisting set of components and solutions. Cotner explained that EcoCAR 2 students have a really big advantage when they graduate because they have had experience solving real-world design problems. Engineering classes and projects typically aren’t conducted under real-world constraints like an EcoCAR 2 vehicle is – knowing how to deal with those constraints gives students a real edge.
Learn more about the collaboration between Freescale and the Wayne State EcoCAR 2 team by watching this video: