Local Motors Announces Winners of LITECAR Challenge

Local Motors April 20, 2015

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 co-founder and CEO 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, Jan. 2, and voting concluded on Friday, March 20. The submissions were evaluated on four main criteria: vehicle curb weight reduction, vehicle safety, innovation and supporting evidence. For more information and to see the submissions visit www.localmotors.com/litecar. To view the LITECAR Challenge winning technology video visit http://youtu.be/J16zJXrFdPw.

Local Motors is a technology company that designs, builds, and sells vehicles. From bytes-to-bits, the Local Motors platform combines global co-creation with local micro-manufacturing to bring hardware innovations, like the world’s first 3D-printed car, to market at unprecedented speed.

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