Student Team Uses Upverter for Vehicle Development


The University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team is a Waterloo Engineering student team that competes in Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions, with the goal of re-engineering modern vehicles to use less petroleum and produce fewer emissions while retaining consumer acceptability. In the past, the team has developed ethanol and hydrogen-electric hybrids. Currently, they are working on an ethanol-electric vehicle for the EcoCAR2 competition.

In order to meet their design goals, all EcoCAR2 teams must add new components that interface with the stock Chevrolet Malibu vehicle provided by General Motors. This requires a large amount of electrical integration, which must be documented. In the past, the Waterloo team had used Microsoft Visio for this purpose. This lead to problems with collaboration, revision control, and software licencing.

This year, the team has started to use Upverter to create schematics for their electrical systems. Upverter allows the team to build schematics in the cloud, share them with team members, and track revisions without requiring expensive software on each team member’s computer.

The result is an easier workflow for creating, maintaining, and sharing schematics. This will help new students get involved with the team, since there is a low barrier to entry with Upverter: just create a free account and start working.

Are you part of a student team that develops hardware? We’re looking for teams to sponsor. Contact us at

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