EEC195A/B - Autonomous Vehicle Project

195A: 3 units, Fall quarter
195B: 2 units, Winter quarter

Lecture: 1 hour (A only)

Laboratory: 6 hours (A/B)

Prerequisite: ECS30, EEC180A, and one of:  EEC110B or EEC157A or EEC180B or ECS150.
Enrollment in course 195A commits the student to 195B.

Grading: Letter grading, deferred grading only, pending completion of two-quarter sequence. Specific requirements vary but should include homework, laboratory projects, examinations, oral report(s) and/or demonstration of results.

Catalog Description: Design and construct an autonomous race car. Students work in groups to design, build and test speed control circuits, track sensing circuits, and a steering control loop.

Relationship to Outcomes:
Students who have successfully completed this course should have achieved:

Course Outcomes ABET Outcomes
An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering A
An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data B
An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability C
An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams D
An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems E
An ability to communicate effectively G
The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context H
An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. K

Expanded Course Description:

Overview: The students will be provided with a radio-controlled car chassis and the rules for the contest (current copy available on the web at The rest is up to them; there are no restrictions on the method used to sense the course or the control strategy used. In the spring, the students may compete against students from other universities in the NATCAR competition sponsored by National Semiconductor.

First quarter: The students have lectures (available on the web), do homework assignments and complete a few pre-set laboratory projects to familiarize them with the operation and modeling of DC motors, steering servos, speed control loops and steering control loops. They are also presented with material on construction techniques, debugging techniques, reliability and design for reliability and manufacturability. These assignments provide the necessary background for the students to be able to tackle the project on their own. The students will work in teams of three or more. Each team will divide the project into parts and clearly delineate which student is responsible for each part.

Second quarter: The teams will work on their own (with help available from the instructor and TA) to improve their designs and finish building and testing their cars. The quarter ends with a race to determine the performance used in grading the course.

Professional Component: Engineering Depth, Laboratory, Project
Engineering Science: 3 units
Engineering Design: 2 units
This course is a project elective course

The expanded course description for the Natcar project, in PDF format, may be found HERE.