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Virtual Prototyping of Autonomy-Enabled Ground Systems (VIPR-GS)

Drs. Rao and Sabet

VIPR-GS Researchers Reach New Milestone

VIPR-GS Project "Multiscale Modeling of High-Temperature All-Solid-State Battery Cells and Packs" reached a new milestone in their research, as outlined in Green Chemistry Journal Vol. 26. VIPR-GS researchers from the Automotive Engineering and Physics and Astronomy Departments teamed up with U.S. Army DEVCOM GVSC and the USDA Forest Service to "engineer a novel silicon (Si)-based material called silicon nano-quill (SiNQ) for sustainable energy storage applications."

Revolutionizing Mobility

VIPR-GS is a research partnership between Ground Vehicle Systems Center and Clemson University aimed at the forefront of transformational mobility. The center boasts expertise in autonomy, connectivity, propulsion systems, sustainable energy, digital engineering and virtual prototyping for both off-road and on-road vehicles.

Located at CU-ICAR in Greenville, SC — Clemson's groundbreaking innovation campus — VIPR-GS is well-positioned for breakthroughs in the worlds of military and commercial transportation.

VIPR Vehicle

Mission and Vision

Autonomous automotive technologies are changing economies and global industries – they are also a driving force behind military modernization. Bringing high-speed self-driving vehicles to life on- and off-road requires new concepts and algorithms to be tested expeditiously and cost-effectively – all of which happen through virtual prototyping.

The mission of the VIPR-GS Research Center is to develop innovative tools and methodologies for virtual prototyping and agile physical prototyping, enabled by research breakthroughs in off-road vehicle autonomy and vehicle propulsion, including smart management of fleet energy resources. The overarching goals are to provide new modeling and simulation capabilities, software tools and methodologies, as well as hardware demonstrations supporting GVSC’s research and development mandate, and driven by the needs of the Army’s NGCV program, one of the six top priorities of the U.S. Military.

There are three focal areas in the Center: autonomy for off-road vehicles in an unstructured environment, vehicle propulsion and fleet energy, and digital engineering. Models, algorithms, analytical capabilities and decision-making tools resulting from the research are evaluated by fabricating a physical mock-up of an optionally manned, non-combat, off-road ground vehicle. Discoveries and breakthrough innovations from the VIPR-GS Center research are fabricated and validated via Deep Orange, the University's long-running educational prototyping program, as a demonstrator and test bed for future research efforts.

The VIPR-GS Center's impact reaches beyond any single project by compressing the time needed for design and development in the autonomous space. Not only does this allow partners to significantly reduce timelines for innovation, but virtual prototyping enables new design capabilities that cut across industry sectors and applications.

Research Focus Areas

Off-road Autonomous Vehicle

Off-Road Autonomy

Autonomy projects focus on the fusion of data from sensing and estimation to provide situational intelligence, as well as machine learning for algorithm development and novel approaches to multi-scale team routing.

Researcher working on autonomous vehicle

Propulsion Systems

Propulsion and smart energy projects focus on developing high-fidelity simulation tools and validation methods for advanced high power-density engine concepts, next generation battery technologies, resilient electrified propulsion architectures, and robust thermal management systems to meet rigorous mobility requirements on diverse and demanding terrains.

Researchers prototyping an engineering project

Digital Engineering

The autonomy and advanced propulsion focuses drive digital engineering projects to create a comprehensive virtual prototyping framework for complex systems such as the modern off-road autonomous vehicle. This framework can produce a fully developed, complex digital twin that can be validated virtually by physical prototyping.

Faculty member inspecting parts

Tools for the Trade

Founded in 2020, VIPR-GS develops advanced digital engineering and simulation tools for smarter, faster, more cost-effective autonomous vehicles. The center’s impact reaches beyond any single project by compressing design timelines and development in the autonomous space. Virtual prototyping also offers new design capabilities that cut across industry sectors and applications.

Research Overviews

Propulsion Systems and Smart Energy

Apparao Rao and Morteza Sabet

Propulsion Systems and Smart Energy

Beshah Ayalew and Jiangfeng Zhang

Off-Road Autonomy

Yunyi Jia, Venkat Krovi and Bing Li

Propulsion Systems and Smart Energy

Jianhua Tong

Propulsion Systems and Smart Energy

Benjamin Lawler

Virtual Prototyping and Digital Engineering

Laura Redmond

Off-Road Autonomy for Multi-scale Vehicle Fleets

Pamela Murray-Tuite and Matthias Schmid

Deep Orange 14 Overview

Driven by Clemson University

VIPR-GS is operated out of Clemson University, one of the nation’s most active research institutions. Located at CU-ICAR, the University’s world-renowned automotive research center in Greenville, SC, VIPR-GS leverages Clemson’s deep research expertise and interdisciplinary culture to deliver breakthrough innovation.

closeup of Tiger Paw on vehicle

Leadership Team

Zoran Filipi

Zoran Filipi

Director, VIPR-GS
Director, School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering
Clemson University

Rob Prucka

Rob Prucka

Deputy Director, VIPR-GS
Kulwicki Endowed Professor
Department of Automotive Engineering 
Clemson University


Jeff Linden

Program Manager, VIPR-GS
School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering
Clemson University

VIPR-GS Focused Leadership
Name Title Email
Yunyi Jia Off-Road Autonomy Focus Area Director
Beshah Ayalew Propulsion Systems and Smart Energy Focus Area Director
Laura Redmond Virtual Prototyping and Digital Engineering Focus Area Director
Chris Paredis RTK Integration Advisor
Jerome McClendon RTK Integration Advisor
Greg Mocko Associate Director, Development
Pamela Murray-Tuite Associate Director, New Federal Initiatives
John Wagner Associate Director, Education and Opportunity
Ben Lawler Associate Director, Propulsion Systems Integration
Johnell Brooks Associate Director, US Service Member Engagement
Venkat Krovi Associate Director, Industry Relations
Clemson Faculty VIPR-GS Resources
1 Research Drive  |  Greenville, SC 29607  |