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Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Chooses Michigan for 2010 Competition Events, Provides Competition Timeline

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE (PIAXP) chose the state of Michigan to host the multi-stage competition that will result in the award of a $10 million prize purse in September.

Fifty-one cars from 41 teams survived the design judging phase and will start on-track performance events in the spring of 2010, with the support of a new partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) announced at the North American International Auto Show last week.

The series of scored performance and evaluation events kicks off 26 April 2010 and continues through the end of August 2010. During this time, PIAXP will conduct several closed-door competition stages aimed at evaluating the efficiency, safety and performance of each competition vehicle under real world conditions. While in Michigan, the competition will open its doors at select dates to allow the public and the automotive world an opportunity to witness the competition stages as they unfold. In addition, ongoing and interactive updates will be available online at throughout the competition stages.

The competition stages and public events are as follows. Additional public events may be announced at a later date.

•26 April-7 May: Shakedown stage (closed). The purpose of this first stage is to conduct safety inspections and on-track dynamic safety evaluations of competition vehicles. Teams must submit their cars to on-the-ground challenges for the purpose of shaking out problem areas and preparing their vehicles for the Knockout Qualifying Stage that follows, all without risk of elimination by the judges. Vehicles will be tested on braking speed, lane change ability, acceleration and refueling/recharging time, among other elements.

•29 April: Competition opener and welcome (public). Up to ten competition vehicles will be on display at the state capitol for the public and media to view, including opportunities to interact with the teams.

•20-28 June: Knockout qualifying stage (closed). To narrow the field of competitors, Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE officials will re-conduct inspections and certify readiness for knockout stage challenges. In order to pass this stage, teams must demonstrate that their vehicles can achieve at least two-thirds of the stated 100 MPGe (miles per gallon or energy equivalent) goal while also meeting expectations for range, emissions, and real world performance. Achieving emissions thresholds will prove a significant hurdle for teams in this stage as will the hill climb challenge.

•July 2010 (date tbd) Open house (public). The greater Michigan community will be invited to a free one-day event to see some of the vehicles close up, meet and learn about the finalist teams in the DASH+ national high school contest—an element of the competition’s national education program, funded by the US Department of Energy—and explore a variety of interactive and informative booths and displays focused on innovation around fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. They will also have access to the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE technical team, which will provide insight into what each scoring leg is designed to calculate and explain how the competitors are challenged to prove that their vehicle can average the targeted 100 MPGe.

•19-30 July: Finals stage (closed). To identify the top finalists in each class, after a quick repeat of the static and dynamic safety checks, the remaining teams will compete in scored on-track challenges, and close with a coast down exercise to gain key performance information about the aerodynamics and rolling resistance to properly prepare the vehicles for the validation stage. Speed will be important and a maximum and minimum time for events will be established.

•August 2010: Validation stage (closed). In this final technical event, the top finalists in both the Mainstream and Alternative classes will undergo dynamometer testing under controlled laboratory conditions at EPA Labs (Ann Arbor, MI) and Argonne National Labs (Chicago, IL) to verify technical performance results. The results of this testing, combined with the speed, efficiency and emissions results from the earlier events at Michigan International Speedway, will determine the winners of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE.

•September 2010. The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, with title sponsor Progressive Insurance, intends to announce winners and present checks at a special award ceremony in Washington, DC in September 2010. Specific details on this event will be announced at a later time.

Source : (video)


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