Progressive Automotive X Prize Officially Announced

Today in the Javits Center during the 2008 New York Auto Show, X Prize Foundation President Dr. Peter Diamandis, along with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, announced Progressive will be the corporate sponsor of the long stewing Automotive X prize. The Progressive Automotive X Prize will award $10 million to the winning team after a head-to-head competition scheduled to happen sometime in 2009. The entries must be safe, production capable, and deliver at least 100 mpg. The teams will compete in three different classes — a mainstream class for four wheel, four passenger entries, an Alternative class to push the boundaries of technology, and in 2011, a manufacturers prize for established companies.

The qualified entrants will compete for the giant wad of all-Progressive supplied cash in a variety of real world challenges in the categories of speed, distance, traffic, terrain, and weather. Everybody and his brother is in on this one — The US House and Senate have already approved NTSB, DOT, DOE backing with the DOE tossing $3.5 million in grant money into the fold for education of youth and consumers.; The Sierra Club and NRDC support grassroots efforts; Individuals like Al Gore, Dean Kamen (who will be entering and sits on the Automotive X Prize Board), the Governator, and many more are putting their voices behind the effort.

There are already 64 pledged entrants from 22 countries and 10 US states from private, college, and even high school groups. Four examples of which were present at the show, The Venture 1, the first look at the MDI Air Car, a Ale from France, and the "Hybrid Attack" - a diesel electric hybrid built by a team from the West Philly High School. The applications will begin being accepted starting in two months, so if you want a shot at 10 million bucks, you better start filling out the paperwork now. Find out all the nitty gritty details at ProgressiveXPrize.org.