Shell and its partners are sponsoring the unique and challenging competition featuring student-made, energy-efficient vehicles as well as activities popular to festival goers, including free virtual reality experiences, hands-on science experiments and a behind-the-scenes tour of the paddock area where 116 teams comprised of bright young students prepare their vehicles.
The increasingly popular awards-laden competition, featuring teams from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and the United States, encompasses the annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas element. Activities take place at Detroit's Cobo Center Thursday, April 27 and continue through Sunday, April 30.
Shell's global and local partners, many of whom actively use the event as a recruitment ground, include: HPE, hpI, Linde, Southwest Research Institute, The City of Detroit, FCA US LLC, Team Penske, Altair, Delta Air Lines, Quicken Loans, Toyota, HITACHI, The Henry Ford, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Autoliv and Magna International.
"The incredible support from our global and local partners ensures that Make the Future Detroit is a rewarding event for student participants and an inspiring one for the public who attend the festivities," said Pamela Rosen, general manager for Shell Eco-marathon Americas. "Their generosity and vision toward solving the world's energy challenges help to engage young engineers and scientists in unleashing their passion for developing inventive solutions for conserving energy and protecting our planet."
This year's event has been expanded in scope to include several new elements for visitors, and Shell's partners are key to them. Representative of partners' activities: HPE and hpI are featuring an office of the future exhibit during the event and offering event technical support; Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is sponsoring the technical innovation off-track award and providing judges, among other resources onsite; and Linde is providing expert support in the technical inspection area for hydrogen fuel type vehicles. FCA US is hosting a Rooftop 'Ride & Drive' open to public; Team Penske is serving as the vehicle design off-track award judge. Altair is providing student participants with stimulation software that allows the teams to lighten and strengthen their vehicles; The Henry Ford will participate in a live stage Ask the Expert segment, as well as provide displays onsite. Toyota will be demonstrating the efficiency of the Toyota Prius and Mirai on the outdoor track as well as exhibiting their futuristic, three-wheel i-Road vehicles on the indoor track; Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc., engineers will provide technical support and give Shell Eco-marathon Americas student participants a "behind the scenes" tour of the automotive industry at its design center in Farmington Hills, and; Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc., will host interactive demonstrations of its TM3030 Tabletop Scanning Electron Microscope. The microscope will provide visitors of all ages with a glimpse into the micro-world around them, driving interest in science and technology.
Further, Altair, Autoliv, FCA, HITACHI, Magna International, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Quicken Loans are providing specific underwriting to bring more than 12,000 students from Detroit and surrounding communities to visit Make the Future Detroit.
At the Shell Eco-marathon, which includes three global events, thousands of young engineers across the Americas, Europe and Asia design, build and drive the most energy-efficient vehicles possible during a track challenge. Winning is based on streamlined design, lightweight materials and driving strategy. The event traces its roots to 1939 and this year comprises events in Singapore (Asia) and London (Europe), besides Detroit (Americas).
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