Thursday, May 15, 2008

Major Company Going for Automotive X PRIZE

One of the things I've been hoping to see with the Automotive X PRIZE is major companies with large-scale manufacturing capabilities entering the competition. I like to see the small teams and their innovative approaches, but I also like to see "dinosaurs" (as some NewSpace people refer to the large government-oriented companies in their industry) grow "fur". They can do things that small companies can't - each has its advantages.

Here's the news I've been waiting for, from X PRIZE Cars:

Tata Motors to Enter Two Vehicles in Automotive X Prize - Tata plans to enter in the alternative and mainstream class competitions. Tata is a multi-industry giant:

The Tata Group is one of India's largest and most respected business conglomerates, with revenues in 2006-07 of $28.8 billion or Rs129,994 crore (not including Corus financials), the equivalent of about 3.2 per cent of the country's GDP, and a market capitalisation of $66.26 billion as on April 30, 2008. Tata companies together employ some 289,500 people.

X PRIZE Cars notes that Tata Motors alone is pretty big. Now we'll have to see how the other major auto manufacturers react.

The accompanying press release mentions some other new contestants:

Other recent entrants to the Letter of Intent program include Motive Industries of Canada, Western Washington University, Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies, Inc. of Chicago, IL and TTW Turin Italy of Turin, Italy. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young also intends to enter his 1960 Lincoln Continental conversion into the competition, along with his partner Jonathan Goodwin.

There's a lot more news in this recent X PRIZE Cars post.