The auto industry needs electrical and computer engineers in ever increasing numbers to deal with the amount of electronics in the modern car. These engineers deal with the electronics, controls, safety systems, infotainment systems, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

ECE-trained students will also help design hybrid and electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles. Of particular importance to these electric vehicles is the power control system. An increasing number of plug-in electric vehicles also means an increasing load on the electric grid. Autonomous vehicles will require more sensitive and compact sensors, and fast, reliable wireless communications between cars and the infrastructure around them.

Prof. Jim Freudenberg talks about automotive engineering and ECE. Prof. Freudenberg directs U-M's Master's Program in Automotive Engineering.
EECS 461 car
EECS 461: Embedded Control Systems
There is a strong need in industry for students who are capable of working in the highly multi-disciplinary area of embedded control software development. EECS 461 is is a senior/first year graduate level course in the subject that teaches students from diverse backgrounds the fundamentals of the subject. We use technology relevant to the local automotive industry, including the Freescale MPC 5553 microcontroller and a CAN network.

ECE at Work

Optimizing Stop/Start Technology for Auto Applications
Undergrad students competed to build the most efficient DC to DC converter that mimicked a voltage stabilizer module used in vehicle stop/start technology.
A Radar System for Collision Avoidance and Imaging
A grad student developed a radar system pivotal for self-driving cars with a size and weight 100 times smaller than current state-of-the-art sensors.

Get Involved

Michigan Hybrid Racing – design, build, test, and finance our own high-performance, hybrid-electric Formula-style race car.

Solar Car Team – design, build, and race America's best solar vehicles across the country and around the world.

Supermileage Team – work to build a car that consumes as little gasoline as possible.

Baja Racing – design and manufacture an entirely new off-road race vehicle from the ground up.

ECE Tech in the World