Twenty-seven vehicles have survived the first of three on-track testing stages in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. This initial Shakedown stage saw vehicles put through efficiency, safety, and performance evaluations including durability, acceleration and braking and avoidance maneuvers. The competitors will now set their sights on the Knockout Qualifying Stage at Michigan International Speedway in June.
"These Shakedown tests rightly set a very high standard of safety and performance," said Eric Cahill, Senior Director, Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. "This was not meant to be easy; if it were, it would have already been done. We expect to see additional eliminations during the Knockout Stage as we narrow the field in preparation for the Finals Stage in late July."
During the next stage of the competition - the Knockout Stage - the remaining 22 teams (representing 27 vehicles) must demonstrate a 67 MPG (equivalent) fuel efficiency target, or two-thirds of the final target of 100 MPGe. Vehicles also need to demonstrate that they can meet minimum US EPA emissions limits and range requirements - 134 miles for Mainstream class entries (200 miles range required at the Finals Stage) and 67 miles for the Alternative class (100 miles range required at the Finals Stage).
The Finals Stage - July 19-30 - will see the remaining teams compete in a combination of on-road efficiency and range events along with validation tests conducted at Argonne National Lab. The lab data will be weighted fifty-fifty with on-road results to confirm the one hundred MPGe required to qualify for the Grand Prize.
The winning car in each category will need to exceed 100 MPGe, pass the emissions and performance tests and complete on-road challenges in the fastest time.
* conditional pass: vehicle passed technical inspection but did not successfully complete at least one on-track safety test or did not complete all mandatory events. These vehicles will only be allowed to enter the Knockout Stage if they successfully pass Technical Inspection and complete durability requirements.
** probationary pass: vehicle did not successfully complete at least one component of technical inspection and thus were not allowed to continue to on-track safety tests during the Shakedown Stage and hence faced elimination. These teams demonstrated running vehicles that met the established guidelines of the competition. The vehicles will be re-inspected and must complete the mandatory portion of the on-track safety events before being allowed to continue in the competition.
Two European teams – TW4XP (Germany) and K-Way MOTUS (Italy) – where unable to compete because of the Iceland volcano eruption and will complete the Shakedown Stage on June 16-18.
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