The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has participated in Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs) since Argonne National Laboratory began collegiate AVTCs in 1988. UT's participation in the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge embraces the advanced vehicle technology interests in mobility solutions, including automated vehicles and carsharing, that concern the North American economy. Students participating in the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge have the opportunity to design, integrate and refine advanced vehicle technology innovations while working with researchers, industry leaders, and community organizers.

The UT EcoCAR team stimulates a culture that values sustainable vehicles through innovative engineering and applied research. We create a forward-thinking workforce through multidisciplinary collaboration and a hands-on learning environment to positively impact North American transportation systems and advance our nation towards clean air and absolute energy security.

Team Tennessee is currently operating with three managers, three technical leads, two volunteer students, and eight senior design students. As our team continues its efforts in creating a more sustainable, efficient, safe and autonomous vehicle of the future, part of what we believe will make our team successful in Year 3 is our commitment to cross collaboration with each of the team deliverables. This commitment will add a wide range of perspectives and expertise to all of our team’s submitted or published content.

For Year 3 of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, Team Tennessee aims to deliver a high-performance hybrid vehicle with safe and robust full-range adaptive cruise control. Our team aims to increase our standings in the national competition by utilizing our strength of having an agile, tight-knit team. Although the on-going COVID-19 pandemic has introduced obstacles for team operations and the competition, the team is prepared to navigate these disruptions and work together to ensure successful completion of the project with compliance to all local, state, and national provisions for operating during the pandemic.


What Is Team Tennessee Looking forward to in Year 3?

In Year 3, Team Tennessee is most looking forward to demonstrating our vehicle’s ability to drive effectively as a semi-autonomous hybrid-electric vehicle at the year-end competition. In previous years of the competition, we were learning and testing the components and systems on the stock vehicle. With the new engine and electric motor integrated, our vehicle has reached the next step in working towards the goal of hybrid operations. Likewise, the team has been making great strides in testing, simulating, and soon implementing our new adaptive cruise control into the vehicle, which will allow us to demonstrate our vehicle’s ability to work semi-autonomously.


Team Members

  • Lead Faculty Advisor:Dr. David Irick
  • Lead CAVs Faculty Advisor:Dr. Hairong Qi
  • Additional Advisors: Dr Subhadeep Chakraborty, Dr Beth Avery Foster, Dr David Smith, Lynn Youngs
  • Project Manager:JP Nelms
  • Engineering Manager:Michael Clay
  • Communications Managers:Lily Crosby
  • PSI Lead:Christopher Lang
  • PCM Lead:Theresa Palandro
  • CAVs Lead:Ramin Nabiti
  • Systems Safety Lead Engineer:Michael Clay
  • HMI/UX Lead:Ramin Nabati


get involved

We currently do not have specific positions available, but always welcome interested volunteers that want to get involved. This can lead to a specific position within the Team.

contact us


1512 Middle Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37996

[map it]