Students dialed in from universities, and judges tuned in from companies across the country as the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Year 3 Competition took place last week.
Using cameras and the conference platform 6Connex, all competition static presentations were given effectively yet safely. The judges heard 66 presentations over the course of 3 days, and just like an in-person competition, the students came prepared to impress. Teams summed up their work over Year 3 in 6 different swimlanes, and vied for several sponsor awards, including Diversity and Inclusion and Women in STEM.
The week began with a Welcome Night, which is a long-standing tradition for AVTC where students start the week with a little downtime, a bit of fun, and socializing with other teams. This year, EcoCAR held a virtual trivia event, with lots of fun questions about AVTCs past and present. A few sponsors even joined in to read questions live and greet the students. The night was hosted by PACCAR, who also provided cash prizes for the winning students, and Amazon gift cards to participants throughout the night.
Showing their support for AVTCs, several representatives from EMC’s headline sponsors spoke at the plenary session just before student presentations began on Tuesday morning. Remarks were presented by Michael Berube, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Transportation, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy and Kristen Siemen Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at General Motors.
Students looking for jobs were excited to participate in the Sponsor Social Networking and Recruitment event on Tuesday evening. Thanks to the online conference platform, students could visit virtual sponsor booths and chat in real time with representatives looking to hire. On Wednesday night, students have a little more time for fun and camaraderie, when they participated in a special student networking event. There they were free to meet students from other teams, ask questions, and get to know other EcoCAR participants. The week ended with a special BBQ Dinner from Austin, TX which was provided by event host and sponsor, NXP, to all of the outstanding EcoCAR Faculty Advisors. Competition Organizers and NXP were able to spend the evening honoring each of the faculty members for making this challenging year successful.
Judges and organizers are now calculating the winners from this past week’s judges events and teams are completing their Vehicle Validation Testing at local test facilities. To find out who wins, tune in to The Year Three Awards Ceremony will take place on YouTube Live on June 8 from 7-8:30 PM ET. Winners in more than 40 judged categories and the overall first place team will be announced, and more than $100K in awards will be given out during the ceremony.