It’s one of the most significant vehicle engineering challenges in the world — and anyone who wants to can see it live on their desktop this June. The FutureTruck 2000 project brings together 15 top engineering schools to create greener vehicles. On June 12, each team will describe its innovative strategies in a live presentation broadcast worldwide on the Internet on Yahoo!(R) Broadcast. The live Webcast can be reached at www.futuretruck.org/
This first-of-its-kind presentation is made possible through Internet broadcasting solutions and tools provided by the newest major sponsor of FutureTruck 2000 — Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq). Yahoo! joins General Motors and the U.S. Department of Energy as a headline sponsor of this advanced vehicle competition — one in which hundreds of engineering students from some of North America’s best universities tackle a daunting challenge. Each team is taking a brand new Chevy Suburban SUV and re-engineering it for maximum fuel efficiency and minimum greenhouse gas impact.
During the June 12 live Internet broadcast, anyone, anywhere in the world with Internet access, can watch and listen as the future of vehicle technology unfolds on their desktop. Each university will give a half-hour presentation that includes a split-screen slide show to help explain the innovative engineering strategies the team is using. On June 15 the awards ceremony at which the winners will be announced will also be web cast.
“Having Yahoo! join us as a headline sponsor and deliver the Internet broadcast opens some great possibilities,” said Mark Maher, GM Director of Truck Powertrain Systems Engineering. “Through its ability to deliver high- quality, rich media over its digital distribution network, Yahoo! is helping us find ways to tell the entire world about this important project.”
The live Webcast begins at 10:30 a.m. EDT on June 12 and continues until 7:00 p.m. EDT that day. Later in the week, on Thursday, June 15, the awards ceremony for the FutureTruck competition will be Webcast live from 10 p.m. until midnight EDT from the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix. Bill Nye, the well-known television science program host, will serve as master of ceremonies for that broadcast.
“The FutureTruck program has brought together some of the best talent from the public and private sectors,” said Tom Gross, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Technologies at DOE. “We’ve created a whole new problem- solving model where, instead of working against each other, government and industry are pooling their resources to achieve the same goal: greener transportation.”
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FutureTruck 2000 is a “real world” test of vehicle engineering. Each team started with an identical Chevrolet Suburban and $10,000 from GM. From that point, each team was allowed to pursue its own engineering strategy. Teams are free to use a wide variety of fuels (gasoline, diesel, ethanol, biodiesel, etc.) and innovative strategies (weight reduction, improved powertrain efficiency, better aerodynamics, computer-based energy management and advanced energy storage devices) to improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, the real challenge is that each team is required to maintain all the performance characteristics, consumer features, and safety equipment of the original Suburban. It must still demonstrate all those features that have made SUVs such an incredibly popular vehicle among American consumers.
FutureTruck 2000 is a four-year advanced vehicle technology competition that seeks to redesign a sport utility vehicle for greater fuel efficiency, ultra-low emissions and decreased greenhouse gas impact. Headline sponsors are the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors Corporation, and Yahoo! Inc. Additional support is provided by the National Science Foundation; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; the Aluminum Association; Automotive Testing Laboratories, Inc.; Delphi Automotive Systems; Natural Resources Canada; the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition; the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Biodiesel Board and Newark Electronics. General Motors is supplying vehicles, seed money and prize money to the universities for this first stage of competition. Ford Motor Company will replace General Motors as the automotive sponsor in the second two years of competition while the U.S. Department of Energy, through Argonne National Laboratory, provides organizational and technical support.
The competing universities include: Concordia University; Cornell University; George Washington University; Georgia Tech; Michigan Technological University; Ohio State University; Penn State University; Texas Tech University; University of California, Davis; University of Idaho; University of Maryland; University of Tennessee; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Virginia Tech; and West Virginia University.
The first year’s competition, vehicle testing and judging will take place June 8-15, 2000, at the General Motors Desert Proving Ground in Mesa, Arizona.
More information and a complete Webcast program schedule are available at www.futuretruck.org.