CAAT Tracks
May 2016
Center for Advanced Automotive Technology
Working with educators and industry to drive the skills needed for the next generation of automotive technicians, engineering technologists, and designers.
In This Issue
2016 CAAT Conference a Great Success!

Dr. James Jacobs, MCC president, opened the conference by welcoming 144 attendees from 12 states. The free automotive conference, held at Macomb Community College in Warren, MI, has experienced increased attendance each year. We are very pleased to note that more than 90% of the conference participants who completed the survey at the end of the event rated the conference overall as "extremely valuable" or "very valuable!" We attribute this to an excellent lineup of industry and educational speakers, and thank each of them for their participation.

Jeff Klei, president, NAFTA region, Continental Automotive Divisions, was the keynote speaker for the event. Klei spoke on the challenges to the future of mobility and explained why safety is a key factor in the future of automated driving. He also outlined how automated driving is a roadmap to zero accidents and noted that Continental's "vision zero" concept, which emphasizes zero fatalities, zero injuries, zero accidents and zero emissions, is possible. Klei presented a potential 10-year timeline for automated driving that showed partial automation currently available, high automation by 2020, and full automation by 2025. Visit Continental's 2025AD website to learn more about Continental's 2025 initiatives.

In the Tech Talk 1 segment, Steve Buckley, senior technical fellow for electrical and electronics for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Gary O'Brien, global director of advanced engineering for Delphi Electronics & Safety Division, discussed some of the many challenges involved in developing automated and connected vehicles.


Buckley discussed the challenges involved in the development of automated vehicle technology, including how the sensors in an automated vehicle interpret the environment around it. For example, weather conditions such as rain and fog can blind a sensor in the same way it can blind human vision, and irregularities in road conditions may confuse a sensor in the same way it may confuse a driver. He also presented some thought-provoking scenarios that would be difficult for a sensor to interpret and react to, such as a mail truck making frequent stops in a residential area, a sudden road closure due to flooding, animals unexpectedly crossing the road, and traffic signal malfunctions.


O'Brien spoke on sensor fusion, a strategy used in the development of automated vehicle technology which takes advantage of multiple forms of input, such as cameras, radar and LiDAR, to confirm driving decisions in multiple ways. A multi-domain controller combines data from multiple sources and uses the best of each. O'Brien emphasized that "because no one sensor system can do everything, the trick is fusion, integrating all the systems together so that they work in harmony and overcome individual sensor weaknesses." He further pointed out that today's premium vehicles have more than 50 onboard computers and operate with more than 100 million lines of code to deliver a world-class user experience, active safety and high performance drivability.

In the Tech Talk 2 segment on infrastructure, Jim Sayer, director of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, spoke about the infrastructure needed for automated driving and how Mcity in Ann Arbor, MI, provides a unique simulated urban environment for testing connected and automated vehicles and infrastructure technologies. Mcity offers a safe, repeatable, off-roadway test environment, a complete traffic control network, and a variety of signal types/configurations. Sayer noted the importance of using infrastructure-based dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), a two-way short-to-medium-range wireless communications capability that permits very high data transmission critical in communications-based vehicle active safety and mobility applications.

In the Tech Talk 3 segment on cybersecurity, Sarah Fall, associate dean, information technology, Macomb Community College, discussed threats to vehicle hardware and software, the communication gateways that can be utilized to implement such threats and concerns about who owns the data that is collected in automated and connected vehicles.

Panel discussions with industry experts followed Tech Talk sessions 2 and 3, and Q&A time allowed for audience questions. Bob Feldmaier, CAAT director, closed the conference with a summary of CAAT activities over the past year.

Want to see more? View or download the conference presentations in our free resource library and visit the conference photo gallery. Read media coverage of the event in the Macomb Daily, Tech Center News (pg 3), and Detroit Auto Scene (pg 3).
CAAT Awards Seed Funding Contract and Posts Educational Materials on Lightweighting

CAAT has awarded a new seed funding contract with Kettering University (Flint, MI) titled, "Joining Aluminum to Aluminum and Dissimilar Materials". The principal investigators are Dr. Azadeh Sheidaei, Dr. Yaomin Dong, and Dr. Craig Hoff. The purpose of this course is to provide the hands on experience needed to train automotive technicians who will design future lightweight vehicles that utilize aluminum.

The selection of an adequate joining technique depends on the materials to be joined, the required joint characteristics, and the boundary conditions given by design and production engineering, as well as economic considerations. This course targets community college students with computer-aided design experience who are in automotive associate degree programs.

The materials-joining course is one of three course modules on lightweighting that CAAT is funding with Kettering University. The other two contracts, discussed in previous CAAT newsletters, are titled "Design with Composite Materials" and "Design with Aluminum for Automotive Technologies". All three of the Kettering-developed lightweighting course modules can be combined into a one-semester course on lightweighting for automotive technicians. The "Design with Composite Materials" course module was recently completed and the course materials have been posted in the CAAT's free resource library.  See the "What's New in the CAAT Resource Library?" article below for a link to the resource.  
CAAT's STEM Outreach Program Featured in The Detroit News and The Macomb Daily!
The Detroit News and the Macomb Daily recently visited Powel Middle School where a sixth-grade classroom was participating in the CAAT's STEM Outreach Program.The students were learning how to design, build and test a catapult that would launch a marshmallow into a box more than 6 feet away. The Catapult Challenge and other STEM labs are offered free of charge to local middle schools through funding from the National Science Foundation. The program, which began in October 2015, has already reached more than 4,000 middle school students! Click the links to read the full articles in The Macomb Daily and The Detroit News. Click the link to learn more about the CAAT's STEM Outreach Program.
Upcoming CAAT Activities
Still Time to Register to Attend the The Garden Party Fundraising Event to Benefit Macomb Community College's Applied Technology Programs!

In addition to an impressive display of classic cars (including a'23 T-Bucket built by Macomb Community College students that runs on propane and a '65 Mustang convertible and '68 Barracuda convertible from CAAT Director, Bob Feldmaier's personal collection), The Garden Party features fine wine and delicious food in a lovely setting to benefit charity. This year's 30 participating restaurants include local favorites such as Andiamo, Kruse & Muer, Big Rock Chophouse, Coach Insignia, Joe Muer Seafood, Morton's Steakhouse, Ocean Prime, The Melting Pot, and more! Each restaurant will prepare their signature dishes for guests to savor and enjoy. The wine list for this years' event is also very impressive! Visit the event's Restaurants & Wine page to view the complete lists. 
Proceeds from the The Garden Party 2016 will be awarded to the Oakland Community College Culinary Studies Institute and Macomb Community College's Applied Technology & Apprenticeship area. Funds will provide support for Macomb's students in completing their skilled trades program.

The Garden Party Southeast Michigan event runs from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, June 12, outside at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills. For more information, please send an email to
Save the Date for the Next CAAT Webinar!
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles: The Other Electric Vehicle

The CAAT will host its next free webinar on August 23, 2016 at 1:00 PM EDT. When most people think about electric vehicles they envision a vehicle with batteries and electric motors. However, there is another type of electric vehicle in which the electricity does not come from a battery but instead comes from a fuel cell. The fuel cells being considered for vehicle applications use hydrogen to store the chemical energy that is converted to electricity for the electric motors. Many major manufacturers have programs to develop hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), but the lack of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure has dramatically slowed their introduction in the United States, as well as the rest of the world.

This webinar will describe how proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells use hydrogen gas to generate electricity, compare PEM fuel cells to batteries and internal combustion engines, and highlight recent exciting developments in FCEV for sale in the United States. A wide range of opinions exist in the automotive industry as to the best route to electrification. However, it is unclear whether any electrification route will significantly displace the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine in the near future. The strengths and weaknesses of standard internal-combustion vehicles and the different types of electrified vehicles with respect to the environment, energy-efficiency, and convenience will be highlighted in this webinar.

Presenting the webinar will be Nelson Kelly, assistant director CAAT, and John Frala, MAED, advanced transportation technology alternative fuels instructor and NSF principal investigator at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California. Visit the CAAT's webinars page for more information on this free webinar. Registration information will be made available at a later date.
Save the Date for Auto STEAM Days 2016!

The CAAT and Macomb Community College (MCC) will be hosting its Auto STEAM Days event for middle and high school students on October 19-20, 2016, at MCC's Expo Center in Warren, MI. Each day will offer a morning session from 8:30 to 11:00 AM and an afternoon session from 11:30 to 2:00 PM.

This new event combines the CAAT's highly successful Automotive Design and Engineering Career Expo held for the first time in May 2015, with Macomb's long-standing Robotics, Engineering and Technology (RET) Days event held annually for many years. The new combined event will offer the best of both events in a new format that will offer two different sectors. Capitalizing on the success of the Career Expo, the Automotive Design and Engineering sector will feature modules by General Motors on clay/digital modeling, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on sketching, and Ford Motor Company on production design. An additional module will feature an exciting car show (presented jointly by the three participating OEMs) that will allow students to sit behind the wheel and talk to real automobile designers and engineers. The second sector will feature modules on Manufacturing and Technology, similar to the modules offered in the past at RET Days.

Students are also encouraged to bring their parents, family, and others to "Explore Careers in Manufacturing and Technology" on Thursday, October 20th from 5:30 - 8:00 pm.  This related event provides the opportunity to learn more in-depth information on automotive and technology careers from recent graduates and local companies.

School registration is scheduled to begin in September. Additional details about the event and registration will be provided in future issues of the CAAT Tracks newsletter
Recent CAAT Activities
CAAT's University Bound Program Thrives with Highest Turnout Ever!
Students get hands on experience
in WSU Robotics Lab
In partnership with Wayne State University (WSU) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the CAAT held its University Bound summer program on May 16-17, 2016 at WSU. The program is targeted toward community college students considering transferring to WSU or another baccalaureate granting institution. It's an opportunity for students to get acquainted with university campus life. As part of this year's program, 24 students attended two days of workshops and participated in team building exercises geared at improving their college experience and supporting their goal of graduating with a bachelor's degree

Linking the two days of workshops, participants stayed overnight in a WSU dormitory. Students had an opportunity to meet with faculty, advisers, and students in a relaxed atmosphere that encouraged good dialogue and addressed many of the questions transferring students have. Also included this year was a Robotics Seminar conducted in the Engineering Technology robotics lab, where the students learned about undergraduate research opportunities and got a chance to operate several of the robots. Designed for a small number of students, this year's program attendance was the highest to date.

The workshops focused on:
  • Increasing academic skills
  • Experiencing campus life at an urban research university
  • Expanding confidence, affirming positive attitudes, and enhancing interpersonal skills
  • Exploring college/university services and facilities
CAAT Discusses Automotive Careers with Middle School Students at Utica Schools Career Focus Luncheon

The CAAT joined other business leaders to make a difference in the lives of more than 2,000 middle school students at the Utica Community Schools (UCS) 23rd Annual Career Focus Luncheon. The event was held May 3-4 at the Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township, MI. The Career Focus Luncheon is sponsored by the UCS Foundation for Educational Excellence. Its purpose is to introduce middle school students to a variety of career options and demonstrate the skills they will need to succeed in those careers after graduation from high school and college.

CAAT Director, Bob Feldmaier, and STEM Outreach Coordinator, Robert Tonti, hosted a CAAT sponsored table and served as professional role models for the students while discussing career options in automotive design, engineering, and engineering technology. The students dressed professionally for the event and came prepared with ideas for their own future careers and questions for the professionals who sponsored tables.

The luncheon keynote speaker was Ms. Amy Kaherl, executive director of Detroit SOUP, a micro-granting dinner that celebrates creative projects in the city and has helped Detroiters in giving back to Detroiters over $100,000 towards art, social justice, social entrepreneurs, education, technology and urban agriculture.
CAAT Attends Michigan Connected and Automated Vehicle Working Group Meeting at Oasis Trucking Center

The CAAT recently attended the Michigan Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Working Group meeting on April 28, 2016. The CAAT attendees were Bob Feldmaier, CAAT director, and Nelson Kelly, CAAT assistant director, energy and automotive technology; both are members of the CAV Working Group. The CAV meetings are held approximately every three months and this was the fifth meeting of the group. These meetings provide a forum for keeping members updated on recent developments on CAV and provide excellent networking and information sharing opportunities.

The April meeting was held at the Oasis Trucking Center in Detroit and was hosted by Richard Wallace of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR). The meeting featured a demonstration of Truck Smart Parking Services (TSPS) field operations center prototype by TSPS CEO Rick Warner. The system, housed in a shipping container, monitors the secure truck parking facility and is part of a plan to develop a nation-wide network to provide real-time information to truckers on available safe and secure parking. This will improve safety, productivity, and reduce emissions from trucking.

Details on the meeting, including the agenda, handouts, a summary of the presentations, and the presentation slides can be found here. Read the meeting notes from all five previous CAR-CAV meetings from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) web site.

What's New on the CAAT Website?

The CAAT recently added a page to its website for the Southeastern Michigan Automotive Teachers Association. The SEMATA page can be accessed from the CAAT homepage by selecting Educators, then SEMATA. The page contains information about the SEMATA organization, announcements, quick links to useful information, and a link to join the SEMATA mailing list. The SEMATA Conference page features information on upcoming conferences, previous conferences, and a link to register for the next conference. Visit today to learn more.
Resource Library What's New in the CAAT Resource Library?

Resources recently added to the FREE CAAT Resource Library.
Did You Know_
Did you know... a set of bills introduced recently by a Michigan senator would make it illegal to hack into connected vehicle systems? That's right. If passed, the bills would make hacking into connected vehicles a felony punishable by up to life in prison. Source
Did you know... that General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, recently identified 10 jobs that will be critical to General Motors' plans to define and lead personal mobility? The list includes autonomous driving engineers, alternative propulsion engineers, 3D printing engineers, web programmers and more. Learn why Barra believes the auto industry will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50 and how these 10 jobs will define the future of personal mobility. SourceDid you know... that Texas A&M University recently announced plans to build a new campus for companies to test driverless cars?  The University's $150 Million investment plan includes $12 million for an Advanced Research in Transportation Technology Building, where companies can design and test automated and connected vehicles, and $12 million for the Cyber-Physical Research and Development Building which will focus on robotics and driverless and connected car technologies. Source
Did you know... that as part of its overall environmental strategy, the Quebec government is planning to make the installation of 240-volt electric vehicle charging stations in all newly built homes mandatory? This requirement will add $400 on average to the cost of newly built single family homes, duplexes, and condos. SourceDid you know... wireless charging for electric vehicles takes advantage of the principles of electromagnetism? According to Engineering Explained, running electricity through a coil of wire creates a magnetic field, which allows the current to be transferred between two coils without any physical connection. See the video explanation in Green Car Reports: Source
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