For the second consecutive year, ArvinMeritor has entered into a heavy-duty truck design partnership program with a leading art‐design university, College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit MI. This year's semester-long program — involving 15 senior-level students — focused more on impending government regulations to slash fuel consumption and emissions by 10% to 20%. Navistar International's truck designers also consulted on the project.
“The new government regulations will change the way companies make trucks. Designers must look at the entire picture when designing a vehicle, not just the aesthetics,” said Mark West, professor and assistant chair of MFA Transportation Design at CCS, noting the students' designs addressed fuel efficiency, sustainability/recycling, and aerodynamic issues. The students also considered the vehicle's life expectancy, hybrid powers, integrated solar panels, highway safety, driver comfort and safety, and serviceability.
The multi‐phase design program included research, on-site visits with suppliers, and this year, some students were selected to receive scholarships. This year's first-place scholarship winner was Kelly Stieler, followed by second-place winner Steven Raphaski and third-place winner Robert Liddell.
Students also developed digital models and physical scale exterior models of their concepts with input from ArvinMeritor, along with engineering designers at Navistar International Corporation. The student models will be built full-scale and displayed at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville KY.
The collaboration between CCS and ArvinMeritor was established in 1998 with the “Visions of the Future” automotive design competition. The company continues to support educational institutions and programs worldwide with more than 50% of its contributions budget.