SEMA 2015 19-Hour Update


We came here to eat pizza and to set records, and we’re all out of pizza. The 2014-2015 EcoCar Team has finally made it to Shell Ecomarathon Americas 2015. You can follow our progress with the beta SEMA tracking app.

A routine flight to Minneapolis treated us with a great view of one of America’s Greenest Cities and its numerous bike lanes, but with worrying weather working its way north in the American Mid-West, we were anxious to make it to Detroit before any tornado warnings would delay our flight. Oddly, a mechanical issue with out McDonnell-Douglas MD-90 ended up delaying our flight by three hours, which was followed by snowfall and logistical problems at the Minneapolis airport. After more than four hours waiting on the plane (and doing laps around the de-icing lots), we finally left the Twin Cities for Motor City.


In between the dark clouds and snowflakes, the Sun's burning farewell was mesmerizing.
In between the dark clouds and snowflakes, the Sun’s burning farewell was mesmerizing.
We’re in the right city!


A Shell Welcome

Upon our midnight arrival, we were greeted by a seemingly empty conference center in downtown Detroit. As we walked through the calm before the storm, one question overshadowed our wonder and excitement – “Is our car here?

Balazs took us the wrong way.
Balazs took us the wrong way.
'tis but a scratch.
’tis but a scratch.

Although slightly damaged, our shipping container had survived the cross-continental trek and innocently awaited the beginning of our weekend. Our delayed flight resulted in some hungry Ecomembers, and we succumbed to some late-night American Pizza delivery. We unpacked our crate, set up our workspace, took a peek at some of the public displays Shell and its friends have set up for Detroit citizens!

A “medium” pizza.
The Ferrari F14 T - its 2014 Formula 1 competitor.
The Ferrari F14 T – its 2014 Formula 1 competitor.
SEMA is not just a competition for students – it’s also a free public celebration of automotive technology!

About Mike Blouin

Michael is the Electrical Team Lead on the University of Alberta Eco-Car team. This is his second year on the team, after taking the position of Sensors Team Lead in summer 2013. He is in his fourth year of Computer Engineering.