Local Motors Announces Winners of LITECAR Challenge

With more than 250 conceptual designs submitted, Local Motors, in partnership with the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), is announcing the winner of the Lightweighting Technologies Enabling Comprehensive Automotive Redesign (LITECAR) Challenge. The design challenge served to accelerate innovative ideas by using novel material technologies, structural designs, energy absorbing materials and unique methods of manufacturing to reduce vehicle curb weight while maintaining current U.S. automotive safety standards.

The winning design, Aerodynamic Water Droplet with Strong Lightweight Bone Structure, was created by Andres Tovar, a mechanical engineering assistant professor at the School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and his group of graduate students. Their design was selected by a panel of experts in materials, crashworthiness, structures, manufacturing and safety.

“LITECAR has been critically important to Local Motors because it has stretched the boundaries of the world’s largest open-hardware innovation community to include a focus on the subject of weight reduction,” said CEO & co-founder of Local Motors, John B. Rogers Jr. “For ARPA-E, this is a highly conceptual challenge bringing in system-level thought from around the world to focus on a next generation problem. Having the tools to achieve this thought and work is a critical enabler for such an agency.”

Tovar will receive the $60,000 grand prize for his pioneering vehicle design concept. The remaining $90,000 in prize money will be divided between five additional submissions that were recognized for their ideas by both the Local Motors' online community and LITECAR judging panel.

  • First runner up ($40,000): Sumit Lakhera and Feyzi Aras, Skeletos
  • Second runner up ($20,000): Wilburn Whittington, David Francis and Kyle Johnson, Metal Matrix Metallic Composites
  • Innovative design component ($10,000): Yuqing Zhou, Kazuhiro Saitou and Jeff Xu, Manta
  • Innovative safety component ($10,000): Alexander Rivera, Modular Sprung Pod Car
  • Community favorite ($10,000): Anthony Kim and Sheetanshu Tyagi, Apalis

The LITECAR Challenge launched on Friday, January 2nd and voting concluded on Friday, March 20th. The submissions were evaluated on four main criteria: vehicle curb weight reduction, vehicle safety, innovation and supporting evidence.

For more information, visit: www.localmotors.com/litecar


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