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FutureTruck: Big Score for Big Red


The College of Engineering's Team Paradigm took top honors in nine of 23 judging categories at the 2001 FutureTruck awards ceremony held June 13 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. UW outperformed 14 teams by achieving a 65 percent improvement in on-road fuel efficiency (28 miles per gallon gasoline equivalency), and by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a remarkable 50 percent when compared with the stock Chevy Suburban. COE students also earned the Safety Award and top score in vehicle appearance, workmanship technical report, innovations in aluminum, use of materials and vehicle design inspection. (See article in New York Times at, registration required.) Team Paradigm scored 835 points out of 1000 possible putting them in second place overall. The University of California at Davis scored 875 points.

The FutureTruck competition challenges teams to take a well-engineered, top-of-the-line sport utility vehicle and make it even better by increasing its fuel efficiency and lowering its greenhouse gas emissions while achieving ultra-low exhaust emissions. In addition, students must maintain the performance, safety and features that consumers demand in a vehicle.

Competitive events and testing took place June 4-11 at the General Motors Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Michigan. Following the weeklong competition, vehicles moved to a finish line ceremony at the U.S. Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, DC. Later that day, vehicles were on display at the U.S. Capitol Building where Members of Congress met with the university teams.

Lowest Greenhouse Gas Emissions: (49.5 percent reduction over stock)

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Lowest Regulated Tailpipe Emissions: University of Maryland

Best On-Road Fuel Efficiency: (equivalent to 28.05 mpg of gasoline)

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Best Trailer Towing Performance: University of Maryland/West Virginia University(tie)
Best Acceleration: Georgia Tech

Safety Award:

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Best Consumer Acceptability: Georgia Tech
Best Dynamic Handling: Georgia Tech
Best Off-Road Performance: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Best Use of Advanced Vehicle Technology: Michigan Technological University

Best Appearing Vehicle:

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Best Vehicle Design Inspection:

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Best Oral Design Presentation: University of California at Davis

Best Technical Report:

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Best Workmanship:

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Innovations in Aluminum (1st):

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Best Use of Materials:

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Excellence in Renewable Fuels: Cornell University
The MathWorks Vehicle Modeling Award (1st): University of California at Davis
Cisco Systems Telematics Award (1st): University of California at Davis
Best Teamwork: University of Tennessee
Best Sportsmanship: Texas Tech University
Outstanding Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jeff Hodgson (Tennessee)

Overall Awards:

First Place: University of California at Davis

Second Place:

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Third Place: University of Maryland
Fourth Place: Georgia Tech
Fifth Place: Cornell University
Sixth Place: West Virginia University