At the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, a team of Mississippi State University students, faculty and alumni are blowing the wheels off conventional automotive design by engineering the Car of the Future.






MSU’s Car of the Future Sets the Pace for U.S. Auto Industry

One day in the not-too-distant future, you may be taking the ride of your life in an automobile designed at Mississippi State University.

For years, MSU’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems has been a driving force in the growth and maturity of the U.S. automotive industry, pioneering the use of high-performance materials to design cars that offer a premium driving experience while maximizing travel distance from multiple sources of energy.

Today, MSU researchers are developing the Car of the Future, a greener hybrid that's leading the way to energy independence. No other car on the market offers its combined package of superior efficiency, sporty handling, outstanding performance and technological features.

The purpose of the project is to demonstrate how improved energy systems can make vehicles more affordable and efficient. MSU's team is working to expand involvement with auto manufacturers, providing increased educational opportunities for new students through more projects.

The design team’s game-changing innovations in automotive design have resulted in the development of futuristic frames that are nearly half the weight of those used in conventional automobiles. In addition, student and faculty researchers and engineers have collaborated to build hybrid systems that can run 100 miles on the equivalent of a single gallon of gas.

At the same time, the team is applying academic expertise to solve industrial research and development challenges. Students helped enhance safety and human performance by writing recognition programs that predict driving patterns and can activate automated braking systems and other advanced safety measures.



“Mississippi State students are anticipating and adapting to the needs of an evolving automotive industry,” says Clay Walden, executive director of MSU’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems. “Our engineering design teams are trained to recognize the market’s directional changes and innovate advanced systems for the future of transportation.”



The team’s work is even steering the way electric motors could be arranged in the engines of future hybrid vehicles. MSU prototypes don't connect engines to wheels, as in traditional designs. Instead, the car uses engine-driven generators to power electric motors that propel the wheels. The design also uses much smaller, lighter-weight batteries.

The advanced hybrid was inspired by the visionary genius of late alumnus James Worth "Jim" Bagley, the namesake of MSU’s College of Engineering, who challenged the design team to create a vehicle for a future of limited fuel resources.

MSU’s Car of the Future gained the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency and also was showcased in Detroit, Michigan, where the team was recognized as the best talent in the automotive industry.



“The team not only accepted the challenge but performed beyond anyone’s expectations,” says Walden. “That’s what Mississippi State is all about – creating opportunities for students and faculty to dream big and uncover innovative solutions for real-world problems and situations.”



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