Diminishing fossil fuel reserves and projected increased gasoline prices create major challenges for the automotive industry. Stepping up to the need for highly fuel-efficient vehicles, Florida Tech has established the Florida Center for Automotive Research (FCAR) with industry partner, Rivian Automotive, based in nearby Rockledge, Fla. Plans are under way to develop and produce a new line of vehicles, leveraging the university’s engineering research capability.
The FCAR aims to develop an automotive engineering program with both a research and educational component. The new research center will offer undergraduate and graduate student training to support ultra-high-efficiency vehicle production. The FCAR will also provide solutions to the challenging technical problems encountered in design and manufacturing, and seek to attract other automotive supplier/OEM (original equipment manufacturer) operations to Florida.
“Florida Tech’s capabilities fit ideally with the strengths and experience of Rivian. The timing of this joint enterprise couldn’t be better,” said Fred Ham, College of Engineering dean and Harris Professor.