The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE has just put the wraps on week 1 of the Finals Stage, and what an exciting week it has been. The week began with technical inspections and, once all teams got the green light from competition officials, quickly moved to the on-track test events.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the remaining 15 vehicles from 12 teams competed in a 136 mile Efficiency event spanning two days and comprised of Urban, City, and Highway driving. All vehicles had to achieve 100 MPGe. Today, Friday, our focus was on Range, where vehicles had to show that they could achieve the 100 or 200 mile range requirement in the Alternative and Mainstream classes, respectively. Both the efficiency and range tests were elimination events.
It was a steamy few days in Michigan, which meant teams were up against an even bigger challenge: keeping their vehicles cool while meeting all the other performance targets.
The teams performed superbly, but as Friday afternoon wore on, it was clear that not all teams were going to be advancing into the second week of Finals.
- Amp met the requirement of 90 MPGe, but exceeded the maximum threshold of 200 grams per mile of CO2 in the Efficiency Event. The team was also unable to complete all of the required laps in the Range Event.
- Commuter Cars’ Tango was unable to meet the minimum fuel economy requirement and exceeded the maximum threshold of 200g/mile CO2 in the Efficiency Event. The team was also unable to complete the required laps within the Range Event.
- Spira was unable to meet the minimum fuel economy requirement of 90 MPGe.
- Tata was unable to present their vehicle for the Range Test due to a technical issue and has withdrawn from the Competition.
The above teams have agreed to remain with us next week and demonstrate their technology and vehicle capabilities in the Dynamic Safety Events on Monday as well as the Combined Performance and Efficiency Event on Tuesday. The scores achieved by the teams will be posted on our website, though not considered in the awarding of the prize purses.
So where do we go from here? Next week’s events will include the Dynamic Safety Event and Combined Performance and Efficiency Event.
The Dynamic Safety Event, conducted by our auto test partners at Consumer Reports, consists of an acceleration (0 to 60 MPH) test, a braking (60 to 0 MPH) test, and an accident avoidance test at 45mph (emergency double lane change). Teams must pass these challenges to advance to the subsequent Validation Stage or face elimination.
The Finals Stage culminates in the Combined Performance and Efficiency Event to be held on the 2 mile oval and scored based on time. Unlike previous tests, this is not an elimination event. Rather, this challenge serves as the tie-breaker for those vehicles that manage to pass all the other requirements and hit the 100 MPGe threshold. Remember, there are no extra points for exceeding 100 MPGe. Rather, it is the fastest car in each class that will win the Grand Prize.
Only the teams that successfully complete all of the above events, and meet the minimum requirements and thresholds for efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, and range, will continue on to Coast Down at the Chrysler Proving Grounds and the Validation Stage at Argonne National Lab. We are set to award the prize on September 16th.
Click here for more information about next week’s events. View current team standings our our Web site at http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/team-central. Track team successes and watch the action live via streaming video at http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/live.