CAAT Tracks

Center for Advanced Automotive Technology

July 2015

CAAT Hires Electric Vehicle Development Technology Certificate Students for Internship


The CAAT hired interns from the Electric Vehicle Development Technology Certificate third cohort for the completion of the Macomb Community College BEV-27 project. The automotive, battery and safety education from the certificate classes well prepared students for this project.  The Macomb Community College BEV-27 is an electric vehicle designed and built from a 1927 roadster kit car by students and faculty.


Fundraising Event Benefits Macomb Community College's Applied Technologies Programs


Garden Party The 2015 Garden Party was held on June 14 at Meadow Brook Hall. More than 700 guests were expected to attend.  Sheryl Jones, a Macomb Community College Electric Vehicle Development Technology cohort student, was invited to provide volunteer support for the event. 


Guests of this exciting event enjoyed signature dishes from 30 popular Metro Detroit restaurants, and had their choice of over 100 different wines.  Guests were also encouraged to display their own classic cars, and women were urged to wear a fancy hat!


The mission of The Garden Party Foundation (TGPF) is to provide trade school and culinary school scholarships to underprivileged young adults. TGPF believes that the purpose of education is to teach students skills allowing them the opportunity to create their own self-sustainable life, which goes hand in hand with TGPF's intention: to help one student at a time reach their dreams. 


The two charities selected by TGPF to benefit from the 2015 Garden Party are the Oakland Community College Culinary Studies Institute and Macomb Community College's Applied Technology programs. Macomb Community College is expected to receive approximately $75,000 of the funds raised at the event.  These funds will provide support for Macomb's apprenticeships and scholarships for those who are in apprenticeship programs that want to complete their associate degree. Macomb's apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training and theoretical and practical classroom and lab instruction to prepare highly skilled workers for industry. The Applied Technology and Apprenticeship Department at Macomb offers areas of specialty including building construction technology, maintenance technology, and manufacturing technology. To learn more about these Macomb programs, click here.  

Recently Held CAAT Activities

CAAT to Sponsor Hybrid Electric Vehicles Career Academy

Students Standing

The CAAT-sponsored Hybrid Electric Vehicle Career Academy for high school students was held June 22-25 in the automotive building at Macomb Community College's South Campus in Warren, MI.  Fourteen lucky high school students attended this educational career academy at no charge as the fee was underwritten by the CAAT and the National Science Foundation. 


This short-term, hands-on and fun learning experience provided students with a clear understanding of what a career in the hybrid electric vehicle field would be like. Students attending this interactive workshop learned about the principles of battery/electric and other alternative fuel vehicles. Other topics included reasons to use electric vehicles, EV safety, energy storage (battery) technologies, and motor types. Each student built their own battery, a DC motor kit, and a fuel cell vehicle! 

CAAT Co-Principal Investigator Attends 122nd Annual ASEE Conference & Exposition!  

C.P. Yeh, CAAT Co-Principal Investigator and director and chair of the Division of Engineering Technology at Wayne State University, attended the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition in Seattle, Washington, June 14-17, 2015.  This conference is the only conference dedicated to all disciplines of engineering education.  It is committed to fostering the exchange of ideas, enhancing teaching methods and curriculum, and providing prime networking opportunities for engineering and technology education stakeholders such as deans, faculty members and industry and government representatives.
The ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition hosts over 400 technical sessions, with peer-reviewed papers spanning all disciplines of engineering education. Attendees included deans, faculty and researchers, students, retirees, industry representatives, K-12 teachers and more. Distinguished lectures were held on Wednesday, and there were two plenary sessions, one that featured the conference's best papers. There were also a variety of division award receptions and banquets. Highlights included the "Greet the Stars" orientation for new ASEE members and first-time conference attendees, the ASEE division mixer, the "Focus on Exhibits" welcome reception, brunch, a lemonade social and a closing lunch. 

CAAT Attends the World's Largest Annual Event Dedicated to the Future of the Connected Car and Automotive Technology. 


TU Detroit 2015CAAT Assistant Director, Doug Fertuck, attended the 15th annual TU-Automotive Detroit 2015 Conference and Exhibition, "the world's largest annual event dedicated to the future of the connected car and automotive technology," in Novi, Michigan, June 3-4, 2015. The conference featured over 75 sessions on a range of topics such as: self-driving vehicles, the car in the smart city, the legal aspects of data and automation, leveraging telematics data, and connected infotainment. There were also over 100 exhibitors and demonstrators grouped by telematics, autonomous vehicles, and mobility.


Some of the more noteworthy facts and observations from the conference are:

  • 94% of motor vehicle accidents are due to human error. Automation will shift errors from drivers to programmers.
  • ISACs (Information Sharing and Analysis Centers), which have been used successfully in other industries, like airlines and nuclear power, to secure against cyber threats, may be the industry approach for addressing the cyber security issues of connected vehicles.
  • Volvo: consumers now expect to be constantly connected. Safety was the initial driver of connectivity, now extended to convenience, entertainment, information, and saving time.
  • A seamless interface between your smartphone and car will soon be available.
  • There are serious issues concerning who controls all of the data streaming from future autos. The answers likely depend on whether the data are technical car-related information or customer connected data.

CAAT Director Attends Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) America 25th Annual Meeting and Expo


ITS2015 ITS America recently held its 25th Annual Meeting and Exposition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The event was held June 1-3, 2015, and was themed "Bridges to Innovation".  CAAT Director, Bob Feldmaier, attended the event with hundreds of people from around the country.  There were a number of Michigan participants, including Matt Smith from the Michigan Department of Transportation, who spoke at the 2015 CAAT conference and made three presentations at this ITS America event.


The program features a wide array of topics, including connected and automated vehicles, safety and security, financing and funding, sustainability shared-use mobility and transit, commercial vehicle and freight logistics, mobile applications, transportation systems operations, and more.


The opening plenary session featured a keynote speech by Google's Director of Self-Driving Cars, Chris Urmson, on "Realizing Self-Driving Vehicles" (click here to see it on YouTube). The event's special plenary session also featured senior officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Energy.  Participants discussed Beyond Traffic: a 30-Year Outlook on the Future of Our Nation's Infrastructure and the latest developments in federal ITS programs (click here to see it on YouTube). 

CAAT Presents Electric Vehicle Technology to Lakeland High School Students 

Lakeland High School CAAT Assistant Director, Doug Fertuck, made a presentation on Electric Vehicle technology to a group of 30 students from Lakeview High School on May 20, 2015.  The students were visiting Wayne State's new Advanced Technology Education Center (ATEC), located adjacent to the South Campus of Macomb Community College, to learn about future technologies and associated career and educational opportunities.


The presentation, conducted in ATEC's advanced energy storage (battery) lab, was based on two electrified vehicles positioned inside the lab for hands-on inspection, a Chevrolet Volt and a Nissan Leaf, both properties of Macomb Community College. Doug pointed out the differences in systems and components between the two vehicles and conventionally powered vehicles. He then described the technologies associated with those systems and talked about the emerging educational requirements for those workers needed to design, test, build, and service such technologies.


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Featured Information
EV Myth Busters

Myth:  Electric cars are more complex under the hood than gasoline powered cars.


Facts: Internally electric cars are very simple in comparison to their gasoline powered counterparts. Gasoline powered cars have hundreds of moving parts. In electric cars the only moving part is the motor. Gasoline powered cars need periodic maintenance such as oil changes, filter changes, and tune ups. They also require occasional component replacements, such as the water pump, fuel pump, and alternator. Because electric cars have only one moving part and a simpler design they require less maintenance.



Did you know that there are several do it yourself autonomous vehicle resources available online? One popular resource is the open sourced project ArduPilot. ArduPilot is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platform, able to control both autonomous air and ground vehicles. ArduPilot allows students and hobbyists with a technical background to design and create inexpensive autonomous vehicles. There are also simpler and less expensive do it yourself autonomous vehicle guides available. The website Instructables has several inexpensive step by step autonomous vehicle projects. This guide  gives instructions on how to build a small autonomous vehicle for under $150. These resources are economic ways that can help students learn and explore autonomous technologies. 

Did you know the first electric vehicle was built by Thomas Davenport in either 1834 or 1835? It was a small locomotive that used an electric motor. It was very expensive to build so it would have been impractical to produce. The first practical electric vehicle was built in 1884 by Thomas Parker. According to Parker's great-grandson, Parker's concern with pollution inspired him to build a cleaner vehicle. The Davenport and Parker vehicles were both important steps in the evolution of the electric vehicle.

Source: How Stuff Works
Did you know that the CAAT has a map on its website that allows you to find nearby charging stations? The map is powered by Open Charge Map which is a non-profit electric vehicle data service. The data used to populate the map is primarily provided by its user base. Existing government and private data sources are also used to help populate the database. Click here to see the map.

What's New in the CAAT Resource Library?


In May, one resource was added to our Resource Library. Listed below is the resource we added:

  • 2015 CAAT Conference - Future Cars, Future Workforce This resource contains the agenda and presentations from the 2015 Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) Conference: Future Cars, Future Workforce. This conference took place on May 1, 2015 at Macomb Community College's South Campus in Warren, MI and was attended by 129 individuals representing various high schools, community colleges, and universities as well as multiple government agencies, professional organizations, and industry workforce representatives.

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