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. We’ve pioneered the use of high-performance materials to design cars that offer a premium driving experience, while maximizing travel distance by utilizing 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. Student and faculty researchers and engineers have also 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 are enhancing safety and human performance by writing recognition programs that predict driving patterns and can activate automated braking systems and other advanced safety measures.
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.
Inspiration for the advanced hybrid originated from the visionary genius of 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.