About the Team

Propulsion System Integration

Propulsion Controls & Modeling

The Propulsion Controls and Modeling (PCM) team focuses on the development of safe and robust software to simulate and control the team's vehicle. This involves researching and learning about vehicle systems, developing a representation of this system in software, and determining the best way to control these systems. This team works on controlling all vehicle systems, from systems as simple as the radiator fan which keeps the engine cool, all the way up to dynamic control of the engine and motors to improve vehicle performance (acceleration and handling) and cruise control.


Team members get the chance to gain experience working on a vehicle's hardware and software while simultaneously developing cross-functional skills such as problem-solving, requirements based system design, technical communication, and teamwork. This prepares team members by providing the skills and experience necessary to thrive in the workplace as the team strives to follow industry models for development and design.

Human Machine Interface & User Interaction and Experience

The Propulsion Systems Integration (PSI) Team is the heart of the EcoCAR organization. The PSI team is responsible for the design, integration, testing, and validation of the vehicle’s hybrid powertrain and its components, such as the electric drive unit, energy storage system, or combustion engine. PSI ensures that the vehicle operates at peak performance while adhering to competition and team designated standards, all to create a consumer-ready production vehicle. Members will have the opportunity to experience all stages of the vehicle development process, including vehicle-level testing and calibration of the propulsion system, vehicle controls, and autonomous vehicle features.

This team is comprised of numerous engineering majors and provides students with a well-rounded understanding of automotive systems and vehicle electrification. Through PSI, members learn skills related to 3D modeling & design, finite element analysis, prototyping/ manufacturing, thermal design, system safety, high voltage system design, low voltage circuit analysis, custom electronics design, and component integration & testing. Students interested in getting hands-on experience with industry standard tools and systems should consider joining PSI and help develop the UW’s first hybrid-electric SUV.


Connected & Automated Vehicles

The Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) team develops the perception and predictive systems for the vehicle. This involves developing software and hardware architecture, developing control algorithms, creating test cases, and system level validation. The CAV team currently is working on developing a sensor fusion algorithm to do advanced lane keeping and adaptive cruise control with a focus on energy efficiency.


Team members will have the opportunity to work in software development or hardware engineering. The CAV team focuses heavily on the overlap between the software and hardware developers, as well as cross-team, so it is a great opportunity to practice skills in both areas. Team members will be able to grow foundational skills such as system design, problem-solving with real-world dynamics, and technical communication. These skills will prepare team members to excel in a real-world engineering environment not only at an entry level but as well as leadership roles.  


The communications team (COMM) is in charge of all of the non-engineering parts of the EcoCAR team. They are responsible for connecting the team with current and potential sponsors, planning youth outreach events, and getting the word out about the EcoCar challenge around campus and the greater Seattle area. Being the only EcoCAR team on the West coast, our members work hard in spreading the word about the EcoCAR challenge, especially since environmentally friendly technology is becoming increasingly valuable as we move into the future.


Team members can expect to learn how to effectively run social media channels to maximize engagement, plan effective outreach events for nearby schools and communities, and professionally interact with large companies. They also actively create blog posts for the overall EcoCAR challenge, called Green Garage Blog, which can be found here. Being on the communication team is a great way to improve your organizing, writing, and coordination skills. As a part of the COM team, our members are also given the opportunity to display their design work in front of potential employers.

The HMI (Human Machine Interface) and UI/UX (User Interaction/ User Experience) is a new sub-team formed in UWEcoCAR. The team focuses on finding innovative solutions to improve User - Vehicle Interaction by performing design studies, building prototypes both in hardware and software and conducting usability studies for iterative improvement. With Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) being the core ideology for the current competition, we are looking into improving Driver Assistance Systems, In-Vehicle Interactive Experience for 95th percentile of the service users, and customer-specific vehicle features and settings to name a few.


The team is looking for self-motivated and enthusiastic students from any major with an interest in Design, Frontend, and Backend Software Development, Prototype building, and Embedded Systems. This is a great opportunity to learn and grow in a diverse team while gaining hands-on experience with working on a real production vehicle.



Engineering Annex

3900 E Stevens Way NE  
Seattle, WA, 98195



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