Year Two Competition is only 10 weeks away and EcoCAR teams and organizers are doing a lot to prepare for the massive event! Over the next few weeks, EcoCAR organizers will travel to three regional locations – The Ohio State University, Colorado State University and Mississippi State University – to inspect each of the 15 team’s vehicles for safety and technical completion. The first set of inspections happened this week at The Ohio State University, where five teams, including Penn State, Wayne State University, University of Waterloo, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Purdue University, shipped their vehicles to be inspected by a group of competition organizers from Argonne National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors, and New Eagle. Each vehicle was inspected against a rigorous 300 point checklist, covering all aspects from the powertrain integration to the interior fit and finish.
“The pre-competition inspection is crucial for all EcoCAR 2 teams,” said Jesse Alley, AVTC vehicle systems engineer for Argonne National Laboratory and the safety tech inspection event captain. “It provides a good opportunity for teams to run through the integration of their prototype vehicle with the Safety/Tech inspection team and allows teams to receive feedback on what is needed to pass inspection at competition.”
Once this week’s inspections are over, the team vehicles will be shipped back to their universities, where students can incorporate the inspector’s feedback before competition.
“It has been a great experience hosting the visiting EcoCAR 2 teams and the technical inspection team,” said Ohio State University Faculty Advisor Dr. Shawn Midlam-Mohler. “The feedback from the inspectors has been a great help – I know that I can speak for the other teams in that it is going to help all of us make it through the competition tech inspection. It has also been nice to take a peek at other teams’ vehicles – we are looking forward to seeing them on the road in Yuma.”
But the inspections aren’t over yet! The group of inspectors will travel to Colorado State University next week, where four more vehicles will be reviewed. They will then round out inspections with the remaining five EcoCAR 2 teams at Mississippi State the week of March 18-22.