Vehicle Design Summit

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BITELLO: The Vehicle Design Summit consists of students from 13 countries about 20 universities.

ALLEN: We had four vehicle teams that each designed and built from scratch a complete vehicle that carried either one or two passengers and would really make a positive impact on the issue of commuter travel.

JAFFE: We're doing a ground up reanalysis of everything you'd find in a car.

HOEF: We're trying to build a two-seater commuter car.

BOGGS: I really enjoy designing things and this event is really full of design.


RITTER: This isn't, you know, it's not for fun. It's not for competition that ends, and we're done. We are trying to do something very real, very serious, and have an impact on the world right now.


ALLEN: One of the cars we made, the AHPV, Assisted Human Powered Vehicle-- so maybe if they're part of the power source-- if they need to pedal in order to move the car, in addition to having a battery pack and an electric motor, that was, kind of, the key tenet. We also made a biofuels car. And that team was very interested in how do you run a car in vegetable oil, SVO, or Straight Vegetable Oil. It has four wheels and two passengers. And they made a steel space frame.

We also made a fuel cell electric hybrid. It's predominantly an electric-- 3-wheeled electric with two passengers. And our other car is called Pulse, meaning it was supposed to be the pulse of the city, kind of a commuter concept that just has one person. And it's just to show here's what, if you were commuting by yourself, here's what your car might look like. And it was all electric.


ALLEN: The biggest priorities of our work are to get students together and show that really passionate people can do a lot and that an issue like global warming is really not ephemeral. Even though it's in many different realms and many different markets, there are ways of chipping away at it little by little.