Heavy-vehicle component supplier ArvinMeritor is renewing a heavy‐duty truck design partnership program with the Detroit-based College for Creative Studies (CCS) for a second consecutive year. The 2011 semester‐long program –involving 15 senior‐level students –will be focused more on how to deal with proposed government regulations that demand improvements in fuel consumption with reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) 0emissions by 10% to 20%.

The collaboration between CCS and ArvinMeritor was established in 1998 with the "Visions of the Future" automotive design competition. ArvinMeritor noted it continues to support educational institutions and programs worldwide with more than 50% of its contributions budget.

Navistar International’s truck designers are also being consulted on this project, noted Mark West, CCS’s professor and assistant chair of transportation design.

“The new government regulations will change the way companies make trucks, so … we know that it is important that students stay abreast of any new laws; they must look at the entire picture when designing a vehicle not just the aesthetics,” he stressed.

The multi‐phase design program includes extensive research and on‐site visits with suppliers, addressing fuel efficiency, sustainability/recycling, and aerodynamic issues. The students also closely considered the vehicle’s life expectancy, hybrid powers, integrated solar panels, highway safety, driver comfort and safety, and serviceability, West said.