Square One’s Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge coming to Kettering University

FLINT — Fifty Michigan high school teams will compete in person and virtually as part of Square One Education Network’s 14th Annual Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge at Kettering University this month.

The statewide competition will be May 18-19 at the Kettering University’s Mobility Research Center, utilizing the test pad and track. Of the 50 competing teams, 25 will participate virtually and 25 will participate in person.

Four competitions will take place: Autonomous Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge, Mini Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge, V2X Innovative Vehicle Design, and the Full-Scale Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge.

“Square One’s Network helps students connect their learning with opportunity, and helps employers connect with their future talent,” said Barb Land, CEO of Square One Education Network. “This continued partnership with Kettering University to host our annual Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge Competition at its premier testing facility is a significant component in achieving our goals to inspire students toward the technical career paths of the future and to help industry find its future talent.”

Square One is a Michigan-based non-profit educational organization focused on developing talent for the future workforce by empowering teachers and students with hands-on learning experiences around high-quality STEM projects by partnering with higher education and industry.

“We are excited to partner once again with Square One to host this year’s event at MRC and to support the passion and skills of these incredibly talented future leaders in mobility,” said Kip Darcy, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing at Kettering University. “As an institution that is committed to innovative education and hands-on experience, we know the value of this competition not only to participants but to the industries in which they will one day transform.”

The Autonomous Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge project challenges students to re-engineer a “Power Wheels Jeep” into an autonomous vehicle. The Mini Innovative Vehicle Design Racing Challenge requires teams to re-engineer an electric 1/10th scale RC vehicle, for optimal performance, and the V2X challenge simulates the sensors and coding necessary for successful autonomous movement. The Full-Scale Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge inspires teams to transform a gas-powered go-kart kit or build a car from the ground up into an electric or hybrid electric vehicle, featuring an innovative component that sets it apart from the rest.

“Square One’s focus on electrification and future mobility solutions will substantially benefit by this partnership with Kettering University, and we are very enthusiastic about the positive experience this will provide for current and future student participants,” Land said. “It is those participants who will have a broader horizon for career pathways which in turn helps provide future talent for industries that are seeking that innovative next-generation workforce.”