Mobility Challenge

The EcoCAR Mobility Challenge (EcoCAR) is the current four-year AVTC that will challenge 12 university teams to apply advanced propulsion systems, as well as connected and automated vehicle technology to improve the energy efficiency, safety and consumer appeal of the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer – specifically for the carsharing market. Headline sponsored by DOE, General Motors (GM) and MathWorks, and managed by Argonne National Laboratory, EcoCAR is the heart of automotive ingenuity working towards future mobility solutions. This challenge will run from 2018 – 2022.


Teams will apply advanced propulsion systems, electrification, SAE Level 2 automation, and vehicle connectivity to improve the energy efficiency of a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer – all while balancing factors such as emissions, safety, utility, and consumer acceptability.  SAE Level 2 automation refers to a vehicle has combined automated functions, like acceleration and steering, but the driver must remain engaged with the driving task and monitor the environment at all times. Teams will use onboard sensors and wireless communication from the vehicles surrounding environment to improve overall operation efficiency in the connected urban environment of the future.

The EcoCAR team at the University of Washington, Seattle has planned to implement a split-parallel hybrid electric vehicle architecture on the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer. This involves integrating a GM 2.0L I-4 Turbo engine coupled with a 9-spd Automatic transmission to drive the front two wheels. To make this vehicle a hybrid, a Magna eRAD drive unit will propel the rear two wheels and will be powered by the GM 1.5 kWh HESS battery. To meet the SAE Level 2 autonomy targets, the team plans to integrate radar units from Bosch and vision perception system from Intel MobilEye. Additionally, a team designed 360Ovision perception system will be added for enhanced features.


The team is currently in Year 3 of this competition and is looking forward to having the vehicle 80% production-ready by the end of the 2020-2021 school year.