Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This Week on the Dashboard: Horch

Xinyu Luo, or Horch

Year: Senior
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Tianjin, China
Division: ESS/Thermal

Why did you join?
I joined the team because I wanted to learn something professional about car designing. And I believe that in the future traditional oil-burning cars will eventually disappear and eco-friendly cars will enjoy an unstoppable boost. This is the trend of car history, just like there are more and more smart phones over old-fashioned phones on the market.

How did you hear about EcoCAR2?
I learned this team by talking to one of the faculty of the team, Prof. Shaver. He introduced me to the team right before the first callout.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of EcoCAR2?

I can talk about cars, study knowledge about cars while earning credits! I'm a gear-head and always hope to study cars as a profession. Now my dream comes true.

What is the most challenging part of EcoCAR2?

To begin with, I think it's really challenging from every way: we are still undergrad students, we don't have fully developed knowledge basis. And we are full-time students which means it's not actually a full-time job to design our car, we have to keep balance between working on the EcoCAR2 project and our daily class. But the most challenging part I think is that we are not belong to any company, any prestigious company. You know, for a design process of a car, it's not the work for a car company alone, it's a work done in a collaborating way with all components-suppliers. So if you wanna design a car, you always need to communicate with all the colleagues from battery suppliers, motor suppliers and so on. It's a collaboration but it's also a battle or a game. You sometimes have to show some strength over all your suppliers so that they can design out something you need. You give them the budget and performance requirement and they will do it. However, we don't have such privilege like that. All we can do is to order some available parts on the market from our suppliers. Our suppliers are good. I mean they can provide what they currently have to us for free, they are generous. But it's just not the way it should be in real life. And sometimes, just because they provide something that we're not particularly in favor of, for the sake of budget, we still have to swallow them. If this is the case, actually it always is, we will be rendered in an awkward position when we still need to design something fantastic.

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