CLEMSON, SC—The unprecedented need to develop a workforce that can build and service electric and autonomous vehicles, and develop cybersecurity systems to protect them, is the driving force behind a new consortium based here. Collaborative Research: REVVED (Revolutionizing Electric Vehicle Education) will conduct research and develop virtual and augmented reality systems to support local EV manufacturing and education efforts.

Schools involved in the consortium include Clemson University, Greenville Technical College, Spartanburg Community College and Trident Technical College. Industry partners include manufacturers such as BMW, Bosch, Daimler, Michelin, Proterra and Volvo.

“Our country has an unprecedented need, the need for a new generation of talent to respond to international competition for an automotive workforce with up-to-date skill sets required for the manufacturing and servicing of electric and autonomous vehicles,” says Mary Thornley, president of Trident Technical College. “We are excited to work with strong partners to create that talent to ensure [the future workforce is equipped with relevant skills, as the industry transitions from the internal combustion engine to EVs].”

According to Thornley, one of the main goals of Collaborative Research: REVVED is to strengthen learning and retention among students from rural areas, veterans and students. She say digital learning systems are especially attractive for students who are nontraditional and underrepresented in the workforce.