We are a Penn State team that participates 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 new systems for the purposes of increases fuel efficiency and decreasing emissions. Through these competitions students get  a hands on experience with hybridization and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).


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, Innovations, Safety, Project Management, and Communications.

About EcoCAR 3

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 hands-on automotive experience through the hands-on application of concepts learned in university curriculum combined with the latest automotive technologies. Currently, the Pennsylvania State University Advanced Vehicle Team (PSU AVT) is competing 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.

For the EcoCAR 3 competition, our team is striving to transform a gasoline-only 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle while simultaneously reducing harmful environmental pollutants. 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 challenges 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 is required to redesign a pre-production 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a fuel-efficient hybrid electric vehicle that simultaneously reduces the vehicle’s harmful environmental pollutants without compromising the vehicle design and performance. The EcoCAR 3 competition equips 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.