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ASEE 2019 Annual Conference


Automotive companies are focusing significant research and development efforts on autonomous vehicles. As they do so, they recognize the need for a large, well-trained workforce that is equipped to conduct these research and development projects, particularly in light of the projected shortages of STEM professionals in the United States. Some of these companies have found various ways to engage with professional societies and with universities to encourage the development of this workforce, and to promote themselves to STEM students while they are still in school. One such effort is the SAE / GM AutoDrive ChallengeTM, a new collegiate competition organized by SAE International in collaboration with General Motors Corporation. In this competition, eight teams are working to modify a Chevrolet Bolt to meet the requirements of a Level 4 autonomous vehicle (i.e., a vehicle that is totally capable of driving itself within a certain operational domain). Teams were selected for this competition through a proposal process, with one of the requested components of the proposal focusing on existing courses and the development of new courses at the participating university. In this paper, we will discuss the roles of students and faculty advisors at one of the participating schools, address issues related to education and training of students who want to work in the autonomous vehicle industry, and discuss the benefits of the competition to all of its stakeholders. This discussion will include the skills developed by students, the outcomes of the competition, and the value that is being created for the automotive industry. As part of this discussion, we will focus on the close ties that can be forged between the participating universities and the corporate sponsors of the AutoDrive Challenge, as well as the impact on course development at the university


Paper ID #24603

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© American Society for Engineering Education, 2019