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Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR)

Vehicle Electronic Systems Integration

Inception

2004

Award Amount

$3 million

Extramural Research Funding

$1.3 million

University Partner

Clemson University

Private Sector Partner

Michelin

CU-ICAR is a worldwide automotive/motor sports research and development campus where university, industry, and government organizations can engage in synergistic collaboration. It is strategically located in Greenville, SC, on the Interstate 85 corridor and in the rapidly growing Southeastern automotive and motorsports region. At CU-ICAR, Clemson University offers the nation’s first PhD in automotive engineering.
 
In today’s complex automobiles, most systems are controlled by computer systems; therefore, integration of these components plays an increasingly critical role in automotive safety and performance.

This Center researches vehicle electronics, a complex field where components such as software, telematics, information and communication systems, electronics, mechatronics, and sensors must be integrated in a well-balanced way to create attractive, stable products.
 
The Center has created two consortia: 1) the Clemson Vehicular Electronics Consortium gives companies a quick and convenient way to get involved in automotive research at CU-ICAR, and 2) the Clemson Advanced Capacitor Consortium, which held its organizational meeting in January 2009, drawing representatives from Kemet, the University of Rome, Hitachi, Dielectric Laboratories, among others. An anechoic chamber (a special room used to test electronic equipment) is on site, and the facility provides the only full-vehicle electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) test capability in the Southeast.

In 2010, this Center began a project with John Deere to develop a balancing network that will reduce costs of electric motor drivers in lawnmowers. This partnership will continue as researchers work to reduce the cost of high-voltage electric motor drivers used in hybrid vehicles.

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