The Advanced Vehicle Team (AVT) is an official organization of Penn State. In the past, the team has participated in Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs) hosted by the US Department of Energy and leaders in the automotive industry. These competitions challenge students, from a variety of disciplines, to re-engineer a donated production vehicle and implement innovative solutions to increase fuel economy and decrease emissions. The team is currently working on a customized 2016 Chevrolet Camero from the past EcoCar3 competition. Members have unique opportunities to work with modern vehicle technologies including a hybrid electric powertrain, composite materials such as carbon fiber, vision systems powered by neural networks, and everything in between.
Our team’s mission is to facilitate an unparalleled learning experience for undergraduate and graduate students across a variety of academic disciplines by reengineering vehicles to lower fuel consumption while maintaining consumer demand.
Since 1988, the Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team has participated in the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions series, striving to build a fuel-efficient vehicle while maintaining consumer acceptability, performance, and safety.
The Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team is managed almost entirely by elected student leaders who collectively oversee approximately sixty members, primarily consisting of undergraduate students enrolled in the associated engineering senior design course or student volunteers. The team is comprised of a variety of students pursuing various academic disciplines across multiple fields of engineering, business, and communications. Each team member is segmented into sub-departments, including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Controls and Simulation, Electrical, Mechanical Chassis, Mechanical Powertrain, Safety, Project Management, and Communications.
The ADAS team uses sensing techniques such as Radar, Lidar and camera imaging to create an advanced vehicle collision detection system with the hope of progressing towards an autonomous vehicle. The Controls team monitors the status of all the electronic and computer systems in the vehicle. The Electrical team is in charge of the entirety of the physical wiring and other electrical components on the vehicle. The Mechanical Chassis team is tasked with light-weighting and improving vehicle handling. The Mechanical Powertrain team is responsible for integrating the electric motor with the engine in a custom drivetrain system.
Since 1988, the United State Department of Energy and numerous North American automotive leaders have sponsored Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions in an effort to actively engage university students with automotive experience through the hands-on application of concepts learned in university curriculum combined with the latest automotive technologies. The Pennsylvania State University Advanced Vehicle Team (PSU AVT) competed against fifteen other North American universities in the 2014 to 2018 EcoCAR 3 competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors and managed under the Argonne National Laboratory.
During the EcoCAR 3 competition, the team transformed a gasoline-only 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle while simultaneously reducing harmful environmental pollutants. The competition is now over but the team continues to strive for that same goal. By mirroring the vehicle development process developed by General Motors, Penn State students are able to experience an industry-level vehicle launch process, from inception to completion.
Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions actively engage university students in hands-on experience working with cutting-edge automotive technologies. Through annual competition deliverables and testing, EcoCAR 3 challenged students to reduce the vehicle’s overall emissions and energy consumptions without altering the consumer appeal inherent in sports cars like the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro.
Over the course of four years, each team was required to redesign a pre-production 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a fuel-efficient hybrid electric vehicle that simultaneously reduced the vehicle’s harmful environmental pollutants without compromising the vehicle’s design and performance. The EcoCAR 3 competition equipped university students with unparalleled automotive experience through advanced technologies while fostering the growth of management and leadership expertise in a vehicle development process mirroring that of leading automotive industries.