A global consortium of top students, professors and experts in various engineering fields plan to use the rapidly growing Indian automotive market as a launch pad for a new generation of cars that could revolutionise the international automobile industry.
Vehicle Design Summit, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology initiative, aims to develop a 4-passenger, 200MPGe, high-performance industry-standard car with minimal life cycle costs and wide appeal both in developed and developing countries.
Anna Jaffe, co-founder of Vehicle Design Summit and a student at the MIT, told the National Public Radio that the consortium had decided to look at the Indian market first because "they have such growth in their auto industry today." "The reason we picked India is that as its market expands, there is huge amount of pressure and competition on the indigenous car manufacturers there and our hope is to see them to be willing to take little bit of risk and really set the stage for game-changing vehicle," Jaffe said.
From India, these vehicle could then go the US, Europe and China, but would be "first tested and validated and verified in the Indian market." In February 2008 the entire team is convening in Germany to design a prototype for 100 MPGe car. By August of 2008 the consortium aims to unveil a fully functional concept that achieves factor 10 lifecycle goals and provides a real platform for continuous improvement.
By August 2008 a green and resilient supply chain, fully verified vehicle, LEED platinum factory design, user base of on order of 100,000 users and tested use model to keep the vehicle driving 18 hours a day will be wrapped up and released.