The California Highway Patrol could expect an influx in the number of hopeful applicants in the future if any of the entries in this year’s LA Design Challenge were to enter service. This year’s challenge asked automotive design studios from around the world to create “a highway patrol vehicle that meets the challenges of a specific region’s transportation and societal conditions in 2025.” Having already taken a look at the Ener-G-Force concept from Mercedes-Benz, we assemble a line up of the other entries.
E-Patrol (Human-Drone Pursuit Vehicle) from BMW Group
We recently got a sneak peek at the two-man bobsled designed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA and have to say there appears to be at least a passing similarity between it and the group’s LA Design Challenge entry. Intended for the mean streets of 2025 Los Angeles, the two-seater E-Patrol (Human-Drone Pursuit Vehicle) features a modular structure and can deploy up to three drones – one a flying drone and the other two single wheel drones, which can pursue suspects and relay data back to the main vehicle.
Volt Squad from General Motors
Working the name of the Volt electric vehicle nicely into its entry, GM’s concept isn’t just one vehicle, but three. Each member of the squad is powered by the VOLT advanced, electronic, propulsion system, but are built around three different concepts: Observe, Pursue, and Engage. Pursue is the streamlined ground vehicle, Engage is the less sexy four-wheeler, while Observe is the aerial vehicle. No prizes for guessing which two the officers would be fighting over in the squad room.
Honda CHP Drone Squad from Honda North America
Like the E-Patrol, drones play a part in Honda’s concept. It consists of a two-vehicle system that is designed to function on the California highways without requiring any new infrastructure. With the ability to operate manned or unmanned, the four-wheeled Auto-Drone serves as a mobile mission control vehicle that also has the ability to deploy two-wheel unmanned Moto-Drones whether stationary or on the move – of course, on the move would be much cooler.
Honda “CHiPs” 2025 Traffic Crawler from Honda Japan
Setting up a little intra-company competition, Honda Japan envisages Californians rediscovering their car culture following the transition to safe automatic driving technologies in the preceding years. To deal with an increasingly confusing traffic environment, Honda Japan has designed a rugged, three-wheeled patrol vehicle called the Traffic Crawler that would offer sporty performance and the ability to respond in severe traffic situations.
SHARC (Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept) from Subaru
Subaru’s concept is one out of the box – or rather, barrel. The SHARC is a zero-emission autonomous vehicle that can transition between ground and hover modes, with its wheels also serving as rotors or angled to suit different terrain. It can be launched from a barrel launcher and monitored via 3D goggles. Designed not only for 24-hour highway monitoring – including Hawaii’s newly opened inter-island Paradise Highway – the SHARC can also be adapted to protection and rapid emergency response applications.
The winning entry will be announced on November 29, with entries judged not only on the creativity and consideration of future needs for advanced technology, speed and agility on future freeway systems, but also environmental sensitivity of the concept and adhering to the emission standards of the region defined by the entrant.
So which concept would get the chocolates in your book? Let us know in the comments.
Source: LA Auto Show
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