The cars of the future?
Well, the winners of the X-Prize weren't much of a surprise, as the NYTimes broke the story ahead of time. Likewise, the politics were unbearable, literally, as I had to stop watching.
Anyway, the Progressive AutoMotive X-Prize's mainstream winner was the Edison2 Very Light Car, and they picked up a cool $5 million for their efforts.
Likewise, the Li-Ion Motors Wave II electric vehicle won $2.5 million in the side-by-side category, and the Peraves E-tracer cycle won $2.5 million in the alternative tandem category.
“A lot of breakthroughs,” have been achieved according to Progressive. Thanks to the X-Prize, it was said numerous times, the auto industry will never be the same because of advancements made through the X-Prize.
Consequently, the question must be asked, is something like the Edison 2 Very Light Car the car of the future? That seems doubtful.
While the X-Prize undoubtedly is great at expanding the consciousness and imagination of the auto consumer, it seems hard to believe that a “radical breakthrough” has been achieved that will fundamentally challenge the world's auto industry.
Again, I'm a fan of the X-Prize, but the hype during the ceremonies was a little bit over the top, and the politics were even worse.
For example, someone needed to put a sock in Nancy Pelosi's mouth. She and a number of other politicians spent more time politicking than talking about the X-Prize. Science, science, science, for instance, the speaker claimed has become her top priority. Fine, then talk about some of the engineering in one of the cars, for instance, instead of making campaign speeches.
Also, I know there are quite a few at NASA whom would vehemently disagree with the speaker's science assertion. Likewise, the science on natural gas has become pretty compelling under the speaker's reign according to a number of scientists from MIT and Oxford, to name but a few. Apparently, however, only some science is worthy of recognition in Pelosi's political world.
Sad to say, but the whole event left me feeling a tad disappointed, particularly all the politics. Lack of out of the box thinking was the focus of the first X-Prize. Politics was not a piece of the story. Innovation, not politics, was the only focus. Politics, it seemed, not innovation, was the real focus of this X-Prize.
Moreover, if the X-Prize is about the failures of the US auto industry, why have Democrats protected the the US auto industry for so long? John Dingell anyone? The failures regarding US energy policy are deep and convoluted and they definitely cross both sides of the aisle. Pretending otherwise is just, well, politics, and the X-Prize should have been about innovation, not politics.
“This is the most important thing” going on in the country another politician stated. Perhaps politically, it seemed, but not in terms of game-changing innovation.