Not satisfied with merely doing a live 3D printed car demo at the recent Auto Show in Detroit, community-driven car designer and manufacturer Local Motors is out to produce next-generation vehicles with the help of the crowd, writes Steve Mullins. The company has just launched, together with ARAP-e – the US the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency - a $150,000 crowdsourcing initiative to design a new lightweight car, and says it is looking for ideas beyond state-of-the-art using novel technologies.
Local Motors says it’s not just about geting the weight of the body and chassis down, but of the entire vehicle. And new ideas really ought to improve on current safety standards to stand a chance of carrying off the $60,000 grand prize. Two must-haves – the new lightweight needs to be able to carry five passengers and rely on existing transportation infrastructure.
“Co-creation is the obvious way to go as you get more ideas and better ideas more quickly – it definitely beats the current car development process,” says Damien Declercq, evp EMEA at Local Motors, told brand-e.