X PRIZE Foundation Looks To Attract Major Auto Firms

The X PRIZE Foundation is targeting large, established auto manufacturers with a new division in its Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, the firm said Monday afternoon, in an attempt to spur fuel efficient vehicles. The prize--modeled after the firm's successful Ansari X Prize for developing a commercial space vehicle--will focus on design of "viable, super fuel-efficient" vehicles. According to the X PRIZE foundation, the new prize will be open to established automakers who sold more than 10,000 fully validated, four-wheel vehicles in the U.S. or E.U. per year since 2005. The foundation said that it created the new division, to address that face that "actual, high-volume production vehicles involve more and substantially harder engineering challenges and tradeoffs than developmental vehicles that are production-capable." The X PRIZE foundation is looking to award $10M in prizes in its competition; however, the Demonstration Division will not be eligible for the prize.