CAAT Tracks

Center for Advanced Automotive Technology

September 2015
CAAT Now Offering Free In-Classroom STEM Labs to Local Middle School Students
The Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) is excited to announce the launch of its new STEM Outreach program. The main focus of the program is to bring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) into classrooms by performing engineering labs, geared towards middle school students. Robert Tonti, CAAT STEM Outreach Coordinator and highly qualified and certified math and science teacher, will be traveling to local classrooms to conduct hands-on labs with middle school students and their teacher. All costs related to these labs are paid for by the CAAT through their grant from the National Science Founation.

The purpose of the outreach program is to demonstrate to young students the exciting opportunities available in engineering, with the hope that it will spark their interest in taking STEM classes in high school and pursuing an engineering or technician career, as well as increase awareness of the need for skilled technicians in southeast Michigan. By creating hands-on projects with little guidance, these labs will increase students' skills, specifically in the areas of problem-solving, spatial reasoning, and applied math.

For more information, visit our Free Classroom STEM Labs page on the CAAT website. From this page, you can request a free classroom STEM lab by selecting a lab and providing the information requested. There are currently 14 labs to choose from and they are all linked to Michigan's Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCE's). Examples of labs available include designing, building and testing a catapult, a balloon car, a rubber band racer, and making a battery.  Once a lab request is received, we will contact the requestor to verify availability of the time and date requested. The CAAT will take care of everything else! And the best part is, it's FREE!
CAAT Hires Macomb Electric Vehicle Certificate Student Interns to Build Battery Electric Vehicle

A cohort of Macomb Community College students completed their educational studies for the Electric Vehicle Development Technology Certificate in May.  This program was offered through a US Department of Labor grant in conjunction with the National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Consortium.  An important program requirement is completing a summer internship.  As some of the students had not yet secured an internship, the CAAT, through Macomb Community College, hired several of the students to work during the summer on building an electric car from a '27 T-Bucket kit under the oversight of a Macomb faculty member.  As you can see from the photo, the student interns made great progress on the build.
Upcoming CAAT Activities
The asbe Foundation and Alcoa Join Forces to Offer FREE Technical Briefing on "Lightweighting with Aluminum" 
asbe As you may recall, last fall, the CAAT co-sponsored a seminar on Lightweighting with the asbe Foundation. Building on that successful event, the asbe Foundation is now offering a FREE Technical Briefing on "Lightweighting with Aluminum," presented by Alcoa. The briefing will be held on Thursday, October 15th, from 5:30 - 8:00 pm, at Oakland Community College Auburn Hills Campus (Building G). Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be provided by the Alcoa Foundation. 

Alcoa Presentations:
  • "Aluminum Sheet - The Lighter Weigh to Meet CAFÉ" - presented by Shawn J. Murtha, Ground Transportation Business Technology Manager.  This presentation will address current and future aluminum alloys, strategies for integrating aluminum into future vehicles, the importance of recycling, and the new manufacturing process for aluminum sheet.
  • "Joining the Aluminum Revolution" - presented by Gregory Fata, Automotive Technical Manager.  This presentation will provide an overview of current and future joining techniques for aluminum, aluminum pretreatment for aluminum intensive vehicles and other structural applications, and tailored blanks for improved material utilization.  
The briefing will conclude with a short Q&A session. If you are interested in attending this FREE technical briefing presented by the asbe Foundation and Alcoa at Oakland Community College, registration is required by Monday, October 15, 2015For more information about this event, please click here. To register to attend the technical briefing, please click here
Recently Held CAAT Activities
Google Car

CAAT Webinar on the Technology of Automated & Connected Vehicles a Huge Success!Webinar

The Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) at Macomb Community College conducted a webinar on August 26, entitled "The Technology of Connected, Automated, and Self-Driving Vehicles."   More than 60 people registered to participate in the webinar, clearly indicating the significance of this topic in the automotive industry and to the educators who are tasked with preparing the next generation of automotive workers.  Of the registered attendees who provided identification information, 7 were from industry, 36 were from educational institutions, and 4 were from state and local government agencies.  Of those who joined the webinar during the live production, approximately 95% were still participating at the end of the webinar!  

The survey results from the webinar were also very positive:
  • More than 70% of the webinar participants who completed the survey indicated that they found the overall presentation and content to be extremely or very valuable. 
  • Of the 10 educators/school administrators who completed the survey, 6 said they would update or add new technology topics to their existing automotive technology programs as a result of participating in the webinar. 
  • All of the participants who completed the survey indicated that they planned to utlilize the CAAT website to download free classroom ready educational materials from the CAAT Resource Library, register to attend the free 2016 CAAT Conference or register to attend future CAAT webinars.
The webinar covered the basic definitions and concepts needed to understand the remarkable changes coming as automobiles become more like robots, as well as the essential elements of the ever-growing "network of everything."  The webinar was presented in four segments:
  1. An overview of the affected industries and the technologies involved.
  2. The latest views of these technologies by industry leaders as presented at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars. 
  3. The perspective of a major industry technology company was provided by Miguel Hurtado, PhD, of Valeo, a multinational supplier of automotive systems and components.  
  4. A discussion by the presenters of the skills that will be required by technicians working in the fields of automated and connected vehicles.
Webinar participants asked some very interesting questions, such as:
  • How can we ask computers to make decisions humans can't even make?
  • How is an internet connections maintained while driving?
  • What role will law enforcement play?
If you were unable to participate in the webinar but would like to learn the answers to these questions and more, click here to listen to the audio version of the webinar and download a copy of the presentation.  
CAAT Offers First FREE Career Exploration Lab to Local Girl Scout TroopCEL  

CAAT held its first Career Exploration Lab (CEL) the evening of August 12th at Macomb Community College's (MCC) South Campus in Warren, MI. The purpose of the CEL is to demonstrate to young students the exciting opportunities available in engineering, with the hope that it will spark their interest in pursuing a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) career.
The CEL was attended by 10 Girl Scouts in the 4th - 6th grade range, as well as 3 male siblings and 9 parents/grandparents. For parents, the main goal is to encourage them to speak to their student about pursuing an engineering or technician career, before their student enters high school and makes an alternative career choice. During the 3-hour CEL, students learned about careers, won free prizes, and best of all, designed, built and tested a hovercraft, a catapult that had to launch a marshmallow 2 meters, and a safety helmet that needed to protect an egg when dropped from 5 feet. In addition, the students received a specially designed Girl Scout STEAM patch to proudly display their accomplishment.
Students and parents were highly engaged throughout the evening and the main objective of the CEL was accomplished. Based on the student and parent survey results:
  • 54% of the students expressed interest in pursuing an engineering career 
  • 89% of parents noted that they are very interested in talking with their student about pursuing an engineering career
  • 78% of parents found the information covered to be very informative
Students noted that "it was very fun," "I want to do it again" and "it was inspiring." Parents commented that the CEL "was encouraging to the participants," offered "great content," and that they would "let others know about the class."
If you know of a youth group of students that would like to participate in a CEL, visit the CEL page of the CAAT website for more information, to download the event flyer and to view photos from previous CEL'sA maximum of 20 students and 20 parents can register for each lab. Days and times for the labs are flexible and the labs are held at Macomb Community College South Campus in Warren, MI. Just schedule a date and time and we'll take care of the rest!

The Career Exploration Labs are sponsored by Macomb Community College, the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology, and the National Science Foundation. 
Bob Feldmaier and Joe Petrosky experience automated vehicle demonstration
Bob Feldmaier and Joe Petrosky ride in an automated vehicle.

CAAT PI's Attend 50th Anniversary of CAR Management Briefing Seminars CAR

The Center for Automotive Research (CAR), a CAAT partner based in Ann Arbor, MI, hosted the 50th anniversary of its Management Briefing Seminars event in Traverse City, Michigan, August 3-6.  This event attracts over 1,000 people from industry, government, and academia.  Session topics ranged from manufacturing to lightweighting to advanced powertrains to automated/connected vehicles.  There were many concurrent sessions to choose from, as well as various exhibits and even some interesting demonstrations.  Two current and two former Macomb Community College students also attended.

The accompanying picture shows Joe Petrosky, Dean, Engineering and Advanced Technology at Macomb Community College, and CAAT Principal Investigator (PI), and Bob Feldmaier, CAAT Director and Co-PI, checking out a Chrysler 300 outfitted with automated driving systems by Continental, one of CAAT's industry partners.  The cameras and sensors were so well integrated, that it was difficult to tell there was anything unique about this vehicle. A ride along demonstration proved otherwise, as the vehicle was driving itself during much of the ride!  
Stay Connected
Featured Information
What's New on the CAAT Website?

The CAAT recently added two new web pages to its website.
What's New in the CAAT Resource Library?

The following resources were recently added to the FREE CAAT Resource Library.  Check them out today!

Fundamental Issues for Road Transport Automation 

Presentation slides from a 90-minute webinar offered by ITS America on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation that explored the issues that need to be addressed to advance the deployment of automated road transport systems. It also identified the great diversity in road transport automation systems based on system goals, roles for the driver and the automation system, and levels of complexity in the environments where the vehicles must operate. Click here to view this resource.

Presentation Slides from CAAT Webinar: The Technology of Automated and Connected Vehicles

This webinar covered the basic definitions and concepts needed to understand the remarkable changes coming as automobiles become more like robots, and the essential elements of the ever-growing "network of everything."  The webinar included an overview of the affected industries and the technologies involved, a summary of the latest views of these technologies by industry leaders, the perspective of a major industry technology company, and a discussion by the presenters of the skills that will be required by technicians working in the fields of automated and connected vehicles. Click here to view this resource. 

2015 CAR Management Briefing Seminars 

This resource contains presentations from the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) 2015 Management Briefing Seminars held August 3-6 in Traverse City, Michigan. With more than 1,000 attendees from industry, government, media, and academia, the event featured outstanding presentations from industry thought leaders as well as various networking and social events. Using CAR research as a foundation, these seminars revolved around the most important issues facing the automotive industry today: manufacturing, powertrain, sales forecasting, connected and automated vehicles, purchasing, talent, and supply chain. Click here to view this resource. (see related article)

Did you know that the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) now offers a Light Duty Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Specialist (L3) advanced level technician certification?  That's right, ASE, the non-profit organization that improves the quality of vehicle repair and service by testing and certifying automotive professionals, launched a new exam geared toward technicians desiring industry certification to diagnosis and repair hybrid/electric vehicles.  The test includes hybrid safety protocols, battery pack service and testing, High Voltage (HV) insulation testing, hybrid drive component testing (Motor/Generators, DC/DC converters, AC/DC inverters), hybrid support systems service and repair, and much more. ASE also offers student certifications.
Source: ASE
Did you know that the National Drive Electric Week being held September 12-20 is a nationwide celebration to heighten awareness of today's widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more?  Electric Vehicles are fun to drive, are less expensive and more convenient to fuel than gasoline vehicles, are better for the environment, promote local jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. What started in 2011 as National Plugin Day, with the simple idea to hold simultaneous events across the country on the same day, later expanded to an entire week by popular demand.  

Source: Drive Electric Week
Did you know that autonomous vehicles are legal in California, Nevada, Michigan, Florida, Washington, D.C., and Virginia? This places Michigan in the position of being one of the few states in which automotive companies can test autonomous vehicles. Michigan has a fake city called MCity that is used to test autonomous vehicles. This city covers a 32-acre testing ground at the University of Michigan used by 15 companies for testing.

Sources: Richmond & NPR
Did you know the record for 0 to 100 kilometers per hour is held by the University of Stuttgart, in Germany? Students involved with the Green Team Formula created an electric vehicle that can go from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 1.779 seconds. In comparison the Porsche 918 Spyder makes the same trip in 2.5 seconds. The Green Team was able to get to that speed by giving each wheel an electric motor and keeping the vehicle's weight down.

Source: Popci
Did you know that the resources for the last three CAAT conferences can be found in the CAAT's FREE
Resource Library? This includes conference materials such as Power Point presentations and handouts. These resourses cover a wide range of topics including electric vehicles, autonomous and connected vehicles, and automotive lightweighting.

Browse our free resources 
Connected & Automated Vehicle Myth Busters

Myth:  Autonomous vehicles will always need a steering wheel so the driver can take control in an emergency.
Facts: Studies show that humans are not reliable backups for autonomous driving systems. People while driving have a habit of engaging in behaviors that take their focus off the road. This behavior has been shown to increase when behind the wheel of an autonomous vehicle. Another factor is as humans drive less their driving skills will decline. This will make them an unreliable backup for autonomous driving systems.
Sources: Engadget&Wired

Center for Advanced Automotive Technology | |
Copyright © 2015 Macomb Community College. All Rights Reserved.