I’ve got a feeling that you’ll be seeing “via Hugg” on a lot more of my posts, as its quickly developing into a goldmine of information. If you haven’t visited or contributed to the green take on Digg, do…
While I bookmarked several items today, I was particularly intrigued by this post (which I’m pretty sure I’ve seen elsewhere, but whatever…): GM, the US Department of Industry, and other government and corporate leaders have teamed up to create Challenge X:Crossover to Sustainable Mobility. A three-year competition for engineering students, Challenge X challenges participants to “…re-engineer a GM Equinox, a crossover sport utility vehicle to minimize energy consumption, emissions, and greenhouse gases while maintaining or exceeding the vehicle’s utility and performance.”
Year 1 will focus on modeling, simulation, and testing of the vehicle powertrain and vehicle subsystems selected by each school. In June 2005, teams will come together to undergo extensive judging and evaluation. Teams will receive scores for five reports, a Pre-Competition Hardware Evaluation, an Oral Presentation, a Live Simulation Event, a Trade-Show Booth Event, a Control Strategy Oral Presentation, and K-12 Education Outreach Program. The teams that demonstrate a mastery of the key aspects of modeling their powertrain choice and constructing and controlling the powertrain will receive a donated GM Equinox after the June 2005 competition. Years 2 and 3 will require teams to develop and integrate their advanced powertrain and subsystems into a donated GM Equinox. At the conclusion of each of these competition years, teams will come together to undergo extensive judging and evaluation. Events will encompass energy use and emissions goals, vehicle utility and performance, engineering, and K-12 Education Outreach.
Additionally, each team will be provided with seed money, as well as mentoring and technical support. I like the idea of a competition, as, theoretically anyway, it will spur these teams to greater innovation in their designs. I don’t, however, know what the prize is… can’t seem to find that anywhere. Regardless, year one has passed, and the teams are into the second year of competition — Canada’s the University of Waterloo won first-year honors. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what kinds of developments come from this contest, and watching to see if other businesses, governmental bodies and non-profit organizations host similar competitions — I seem to remember reading about one coming out of Congress, but don’t have the details in front of me.