Monday, April 02, 2007

Automotive X PRIZE

A couple days ago Alan Boyle reported that the X PRIZE Foundation was about to reveal the draft rules for the Automotive X PRIZE to encourage manufacturable, marketable, consumer-ready, environment-friendly, 100 mpg (or equivalent fuel efficiency) cars. The article gives a lot of background on the development of the prize. Today the draft rules were released, and can be viewed at the X PRIZE Foundation site. Here is the press release that accompanied the release. The purse size is "likely to be in excess of $10 million". There will be "mainstream" (4 passenger, 4 wheel) and "alternative" competitions, with 3 out of 4 dollars going to the winner of the mainstream competition. There will be Qualifying and Grand Prize races, with the winner of the Grand Prize race getting significantly more winnings than the winner of the Qualifying race. There may be "2nd tier" awards for characteristics like lowest estimated lifetime cost, lowest carbon dioxide emissions, lowest tailpipe emissions, and highest MPG equivalent, "people's choice", and best in various vehicle classes like family sedan. The Foundation plans to arrange significant media exposure (web media, traditional media, documentaries, certifications, awards for progress on various fronts) to all teams that make significant advances, not just the winning teams.

As with the Ansari X PRIZE and Archon Genomics X PRIZE, they are going with the nice round "100" (100 MPG equivalent, just like 100 km altitude and 100 human genomes).

Other Automotive X PRIZE links:

Background on Automotive X PRIZE

Overview of the competition

Complete (37 page) Draft Rules

Automotive X PRIZE Blog

Automotive X PRIZE sponsors and donors, and links so you can help