Year Two Competition



Safety and Technical Inspections

The purpose of Safety Tech is to ensure the safety of competition vehicles as well as their compliance with key competition rules necessary for the smooth execution of competition. Additionally, this inspection will assess whether a team’s vehicle has met the 50% buyoff requirements as dictated by the EcoCAR VDP. The inspections also offer a valuable opportunity for team members to learn about and familiarize themselves with the inspection process and content in order to prepare for future years of the competition.

The inspection is conducted by a team of experienced engineers and technicians from Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and GM. A comprehensive inspection log that is derived from the NYS Rules is used by the inspectors to ensure a robust inspection. Inspectors will use this document, pictures, and notes to evaluate a team’s final safety inspection score. Team vehicles will be fully re-inspected at every competition event.

Skid Pad

The objective of the Skid Pad Event is to measure a vehicles cornering ability on a flat surface while making a constant radius turn. The Skidpad event evaluates the maximum lateral acceleration as the vehicle negotiates a constant radius turn at an increasing vehicle speed without excessive sliding. Lateral acceleration provides an objective means of evaluating the vehicle’s weight distribution, spring and bar selection as well as tire characteristics. This event is a test of how well the vehicle handles with the new powertrain and mass characteristics. This event is not worth points, but the winner of the event will receive cash and a trophy.

Energy Consumption

For Year 2, an energy consumption event will be available to teams that pass the low-speed ORSE. This event is not worth points, but the winner of the event will receive cash and a trophy. The Energy Consumption event will be significantly smaller in scope than it is in a typical competition year. It will take place on the circle track at a nearly constant speed (instead of on a dynamic drive schedule), and the vehicle will be driven at less than 40 mph. Fuel consumption and electric energy consumption will be measured on board the vehicle.

Competition Systems Safety

10 Points
Event Captain: Mark Vernacchia, General Motors

The Year 2 Competition Systems Safety 1-on-1 is intended to be a year-end checkpoint of the team’s systems safety activities. By this time, the team should have completed a preliminary hazard analysis, systems safety concept, and developed safety requirements. The team should also strive to complete an internal safety requirements review prior to the Year 2 Competition. This 1 on 1 will consist of two parts; a scored section where the team presents their team structure, systems safety process status, vehicle architecture and functional control system block diagram, updates to systems safety concept, and safety requirements. The second part is unscored and is intended to be a discussion between the team and judges. The intention is to provide an open environment where the team and judges feel free to ask and answer questions to improve the team’s system safety process. This event will be judged by a group of experts with technical backgrounds in automotive systems safety and systems engineering.

Vehicle Design Review (VDR)

40 Points
Event Captain: Tim Campbell, General Motors

The Vehicle Design Review (VDR) event is an around-the-vehicle presentation focused on the progress of the team in meeting the VDP goals for Year 2 and, ultimately, the VTS for the vehicle. Year 2 of the competition is heavily focused on integration with goals of fully complete integration and static vehicle safety (i.e. passing Safety/Tech Inspection).

This event is the team’s opportunity to show government and industry experts that their vehicle has met the VDP goals for Year 2 and is on track to meet the team VTS established in Year 1. Teams will be expected to present their consumer target market, VTS, and vehicle architecture. Teams will also be expected to present the actual integration of their vehicles, discuss design decisions, and design features of vehicle components and subsystems. The presentation will also focus on design tradeoffs, design changes from Year 1 and expected refinements for Year 3.

Consumer Appeal

30 Points
Event Captain: Kathy Gillespie, General Motors

The Consumer Appeal event is an interactive event designed to evaluate teams’ plans for integrating consumer features into their vehicle to meet the wants, needs and expectations of their targeted consumer market. This event is intended to be cross-disciplinary, including content from engineering, project management, and communications. Therefore, communication between these sub-teams is crucial in preparing for this event. The judges for the event will assume the persona of the team’s target market, so teams should view the Consumer Appeal event as an opportunity to “sell” their vehicle to prospective consumers from the team’s target market.

Overall teams will be evaluated on how effectively they communicate the vehicle design, its consumer features and the team’s plan to implement these features into the vehicle in Years 3 and 4. Teams are encouraged to think beyond EcoCAR deliverables and requirements to relate their vehicle design to real-world consumers (especially their targeted consumer market).

Mechanical Presentation

40 Points
Event Captain: Ed Argalas, General Motors

The Mechanical Presentation for Year 2 is focused on mechanical team engineering activity during Year 2, which included the design, fabrication and integration of various systems: ESS, driveline components, thermal system, powertrain mounts, overall packaging designs, fuel system, etc. The team’s Mechanical Presentation should summarize this activity for Year 2. Teams should also discuss their team goals, engineering methodology, progress in meeting milestones, and plans for future work.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Presentation

40 Points
Event Captain: William Job, General Motors

The Year 2 Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Presentation is designed to evaluate the effectiveness with which each team completed the ECE activities throughout the year. In Year 2, each team completed their vehicle design with the submission of their Vehicle Design Report (VDR) and then executed this design prior to Year 2 competition. The ECE presentation will capture the design, documentation, fabrication, and integration work of all of these activities and an emphasis will be placed on how well team’s physical integration compares to their proposed design. This event will be judged by a group of industry and government experts familiar with automotive-grade HV and LV electrical work, embedded controllers, etc

Control Systems Presentation

45 Points
Event Captain: Tom Ender, General Motors

The Controls Presentation event is designed to evaluate each team’s Year 2 controls design and integration activities. Teams will be assessed on the processes they used to facilitate rapid control code development and deployment on the HIL bench and in the vehicle. Each team will provide a summary of their control system implementation process and control system design. Specifically the major elements to be reviewed include: hybrid vehicle architecture and control system overview, powertrain component controller algorithm development, torque safety, and code development process maturity.

Competition Hardware-in-the-Loop Review

45 Points
Event Captain: Cheryl Williams, General Motors

The Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) Review event at Year 2 competition focused on the teams modeling, testing, and HIL activities. The objective of the event is to evaluate each team’s progress over the past year in modeling and simulation as well as their ability to execute testing activities which will be required in the remainder of the competition. This event will build upon the content presented at the Winter Workshop HIL Review event and will require teams to demonstrate proficiency in modeling, simulation, test development, and usage of their dSPACE software and HIL hardware.

Competition Innovation Progress Review

60 Points
Event Captain: Steven Boyd, U.S. Department of Energy

The objective of the Year 2 Competition Innovation Progress Review is to assess the progress each team has made on their innovation activities throughout the year. Innovation projects should allow for the inclusion of new or innovative technologies, reward teams for taking unconventional approaches or risks, emphasize new automotive technologies to the public, and discuss the impact of the technology on the industry and market.

Project management

Competition Project Status Presentation

25 Points
Event Captains: Emily Shewell, General Motors and Cynthia Svestka, General Motors

The purpose of the Project Status Presentation is for team Project Managers to convey the overall status of their project to competition stakeholders using formal project management techniques. The evaluation of this presentation will focus on the ability of the Project Manager to communicate the status of his or her project, as well as the next steps the team will undertake. This presentation should demonstrate the Project Manager’s overall command of the project.


Communications Outreach Presentation

23 Points
Event Captain: Kimberly DeClark, Argonne National Laboratory

Teams are required to make a final communications presentation about their event outreach efforts and activities that includes all the event outreach deliverables for Year 2. Teams are required to present on the targeted outreach campaigns they executed throughout the year, and on the outreach event successes of their campaigns and events through various evaluation methods (e.g., survey analysis, spikes in media coverage, social media use and analysis, event attendance).

Pre-competition deliverables


Innovation Topic Proposal

10 Points

The objective of the innovation topic proposal is for the organizers to approve and provide feedback on innovation research projects for each team. Previously for Year 1, teams received guidance on the innovation goals and details about the swimlane during the kickoff and fall workshops. Now for Year 2, teams have the option to continue research on their previously chosen topic or select a new topic.

Final Technical Report Experimental Design

0 Points

In order to facilitate topic selection and experimental design, teams submitted a brief description of their experimental design in an FTR experimental design overview. The FTR experimental design overview is only intended to be a mechanism for teams to receive feedback from organizers on topic and experimental design viability, and will not be subject to any official organizer approval process.

Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Vision Tool Check

10 Points

The ADAS vision tool check will assess fundamental skills that will be needed to complete vision processing and hardware development tasks later in the year. The deliverable is split into several activities, each one focused on a different computer vision processing task. In the three activities, teams used MATLAB/Simulink or another platform of their choosing to complete basic vision processing tasks.

Vehicle Design Report

100 Points

The vehicle design report marks a major milestone in the vehicle development process (VDP; i.e., the conclusion of the design phase of vehicle development). This report spans all swimlane vehicle areas and will require the full attention and focus of all technical swimlanes.

Vehicle Baseline Evaluation

20 Points

The purpose of the Vehicle Baseline Evaluation is to ensure that teams have adequately evaluated and documented the state of the production vehicle before disassembly occurs. Teams will perform both static and dynamic evaluations of their vehicle and document the results by using pictures and recordings of the vehicle’s CAN buses.

Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) Review

30 Points

The HIL Review event will focus on ensuring that the teams understand how to effectively use their HIL system to develop and validate their supervisory controller and that they are progressing in the development of component SoftECUs and a full vehicle model for SIL and HIL simulation and testing. The team’s HIL system presentation and demonstration include topics requiring knowledge of both SMS and Controls.

Innovation Progress Review

30 Points

The objective of the Winter Workshop Innovation Progress Review is to review and provide feedback on innovation research projects for each team. Teams should be prepared to give a presentation on the progress of their approved innovation topic, with an emphasis on the research they have been performing

Winter Workshop Systems Safety 1-on1

10 Points

The Winter Workshop Systems Safety 1-on-1 is intended to be a mid-year checkpoint of the teams’ system safety activities. By this time, each team should have completed a preliminary hazard analysis and developed a system safety concept. The team should also strive to complete an internal safety concept review prior to the Winter Workshop. This 1-on-1 will consist of two parts. First is a scored part in which the team presents its team structure, systems safety process status, vehicle architecture and functional control system block diagram, vehicle hazard identification and classification, and system safety concept. The second part is unscored and intended to be a discussion between the team and judges. The intent is to provide an open environment where the team and judges feel free to ask and answer questions in order to improve the team’s systems safety process.

Vehicle Safety Binder

20 Points

The in-vehicle safety binder contains important safety information and documentation that must be kept with the vehicle at all times. This information must be kept up to date and reflect the vehicle and subsystems as built. This binder will be inspected during safety and technical inspections; teams with inadequate content will not pass inspection. In preparation for inspection at the Year 2 competition, teams are required to turn in a draft of this binder in advance.

ADAS Hardware Tool Check

15 Points

The ADAS hardware tool check will assess the teams’ progress in developing vision processing algorithms and achieving baseline functionality on the physical S32V hardware board. The deliverable is split into multiple parts. In the first part, teams use MATLAB/Simulink or another platform of their choosing to complete more advanced vision processing tasks. These tasks were designed to build on skills assessed in the ADAS vision tool check and expanded during Winter Workshop training. The activities will serve as the foundation for ADAS activities in Year 3 and Year 4. The second part of the deliverable assesses teams’ progress toward implementing programs on the NXP S32V processing board. It will require teams to use NXP training presented at the Winter Workshop to compile and run programs on the physical hardware in order to interface with the provided image sensor and output the results to an external monitor.

Final Technical Report

35 Points

The purpose of the final technical report (FTR) is to document, in a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)-style paper that can easily be prepared for publication, the year’s engineering work on a specified topic. The Year 2 FTR will focus on the design and execution of a bench testing experiment on a system of the team’s choosing. As part of the designed experiments, two different system control strategies will be evaluated and the impact on the system and/or vehicle energy consumption shall be assessed. To do this, teams will first utilize plant models to predict the results of the experiment in simulation, and then execute the experiment on their test bench using actual components and then finally compare the results.

The Year 2 FTR is designed to drive progress on a particular system well in advance of full vehicle powertrain integration. It is recommended that teams carefully consider their vehicle integration timeline and team resources when selecting which system to test. In addition, teams should design their experiment such that it provides technically valid and meaningful results.

Vehicle Integration Binder

10 Points

The vehicle integration binder is intended to compile photo documentation of the as-built vehicle. It is highly likely that this documentation will prove useful during the safety and technical inspections done at the competition.


Project Management Plan Update

30 Points

A project management plan is a formal document that is developed and used by the PM to guide a project’s execution and its control. Its primary use is to document planning assumptions and decisions, facilitate communication among stakeholders, and document the approved scope, cost, and schedule baselines.

Change Management Plan

10 Points

Change management is an important part of the project management process. With the pace of change being so fast today, it is almost certain that projects will face a demand for change during their lifetimes. While change may help ensure that projects are aligned with university, team, and sponsor needs, it is still important that each change be carefully considered and approved. The change management process for a project ensures that each change proposed during that project is properly defined, considered, and approved before being implemented. It ensures that no unnecessary changes are made, that services are not disrupted, and that resources are used efficiently. For reference, the project requirements documents are the Project Management Plan, which define the scope, time, and budget of the project, and the Vehicle Design Report, which defines the technical criteria of the vehicle design.

Project Status Presentation

20 points

The purpose of the Project Status Presentation is for the team’s PM to convey the overall status of the project to the AVTC stakeholders by using formal project management techniques. The evaluation of this presentation will focus on the ability of the PM to communicate the status of the project and the next steps that the team will undertake. This presentation demonstrates the PM’s overall command of the project.

Impact Report

15 Points

Many project sponsors, as well as project funders, seek a method to effectively communicate the project’s impacts to multiple stakeholder groups. AVTCs specifically are partially funded by federal and state government agencies; therefore, it is imperative that the results and benefits from this public funding be showcased. As the number of AVTCs continues to grow, it is very important that teams document the impact that these competitions have had, both internally at their university and externally in their community. This report combines quantitative data and qualitative information to comprehensively capture, analyze, and communicate the full scope of EcoCAR 3’s benefits and impacts.


Communications Plan

20 Points

Teams are required to develop a one-year (defined as June 5, 2015–May 16, 2016) communications plan to raise awareness of the EcoCAR 3 program, their team participation in the program, and advanced vehicle technologies. The plans included a situational analysis, communication goals, target audiences and activities, communication messages, strategies and tactics, evaluation and measurement activities, implementation table, and a budget.

Sponsor Collaboration Video and Blog Post

10 Points

The purpose of the sponsor collaboration video and blog post was to promote the collaboration between sponsors and EcoCAR teams and show how teams are using sponsor tools successfully in the program. Each team submitted a video, accompanied by a blog post, describing a competition level sponsor with whom they collaborated to solve a goal.

Social Media Report

8 Points

Teams submitted a report to explain how their social media activities in Year 2 were strategic and successful. Social media activities include a team’s use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other relevant social media platforms. Teams identified correlations between their levels of activity in social media and in outreach events and any resultant raising of awareness about the EcoCAR 3 program, and described unique and strategic ways that they used social media.

Media Relations Report

8 Points

The media relations report detailed all of the team’s media relations activities and efforts throughout Year 2 of the competition. Teams were judged on the content and messaging of the coverage, as well as the number of media hits received and the outlets they represent.