LA Design Challenge 2012: the entries

LA Design Challenge 2012: the entries

The first images and information on the concept cars presented by BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Subaru at the Los Angeles Design Challenge 2012.

At the 9th Annual LA Auto Show Design Challenge, six automotive design studios have have envisioned the ultimate law enforcement patrol vehicle for the year 2025, imagining a future with even more crowded roads, electronically monitored and controlled traffic and significant changes in human behavior.


From drone technology to observe, pursue and engage from the land and air, to renewable resource-fueled vehicles equipped with topographical scanners, this year’s entries are designed with an entirely new set of considerations to effectively navigate dynamic urban environments.

The winning design will be announced Nov. 29 during an event at the LA Auto Show Press Days.

Below we report the first information and images. We’ll publish additional articles on the individual projects as new details and high resolution pictures become available.

BMW E-Patrol Concept by BMW Group DesignworksUSA


Design Team:

  • Jose Casas – Designer
  • Won Awe – Designer

The BMW Group DesignworksUSA team chose Los Angeles as the region to create a 2025 scenario for the E-Patrol (Human-Drone Pursuit Vehicle).

Their research predicted that Los Angeles would have more traffic, faster vehicles, and vehicles with alternative fuel sources. The design centered on a modular structure and drone technology that enhanced both teamwork and accessibility.

The main structure can deploy three drones. In the case of a pursuit during heavy traffic areas, the patrol officer sitting in the two passenger main structure can deploy either the flying drone or one of the single wheel drones to chase the suspect and report back data to the main structure.

Volt Squad Concept by General Motors Advanced Design California


Design Team:

  • Frank Saucedo – Design Director
  • Phil Tanioka – Design Project Manager
  • Brent Wickham – Concept Strategist
  • Charles LeFranc – Observe Vehicle Designer
  • Shawn Moghadam – Pursue Vehicle Designer
  • Darren Luke – Engage Vehicle Designer
  • Thamer Hannona – Storyboard Designer

General Motors has created a new electric vehicle system, the Volt Squad, to meet the challenge of a highway system now brimming with cutting edge technologies. The Volt Squad is a three vehicle fleet, designed around the concept of OBSERVE, PURSUE and ENGAGE.

Each vehicle has a clearly defined situational role; delivering superior flexibility, presence and capability for the CHP. At the core of the vehicle’s architecture is the VOLT advanced, electronic, propulsion system.

Honda CHP Drone Squad by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., Advanced Design Studio, California


Design Team:

  • Jason Wilbur
  • Eddie Birtulescu
  • Raj Rihal

Honda Advanced Design has created the CHP Drone Squad, a vehicle-based-system for 2025 designed to work efficiently and seamlessly in the harsh environment of California highways without the need for new infrastructure.

The Drone Squad is comprised of a 2 vehicle system. The Auto-Drone operates as a manned or un-manned mission control vehicle which deploys Moto-Drones and can do so on the move. Moto-Drones are un-manned motorcycles capable of being rigged for multiple response or rescue missions.

“CHiPs” 2025 by Honda R&D Company, Ltd., Advanced Design Studio, Tokyo


Design Team:

  • Ryo Nakayama

Honda R&D Japan’s “CHiPs” 2025 Traffic Crawler offers key features that the central office of the California Highway Patrol needs as they adjust to changes in the traffic environment in 2025 where, in addition to conventional traffic problems, vehicles freed from environmental constraints are getting bigger.

Despite the transition period to safe automatic driving, the traffic environment is again becoming confusing and challenging as California resumes its once flourishing car culture. In response to the need for strict traffic enforcement, Honda designed a new patrol vehicle that offers sporty mobility with the toughness to respond in severe traffic situations.

Mercedes-Benz Ener-G- Force by Mercedes-Benz R&D North America, Inc.: Advanced Design Center California

Design Team:

  • Hubert Lee – Creative Director
  • Jackson Luttig – Designer
  • Sylvain Wehnert – Designer
  • Armin Sinicki – 3D Sculptor
  • Executive Design Support: Gorden Wagener – VP Mercedes-Benz Cars, Vans, and Trucks

By 2025, law enforcement officers will need to adapt to even more crowded roads with electronically monitored and controlled traffic, a much larger population, and changes in human behavior. As the most environmentally friendly SUV, the “Mercedes-Benz Ener-G- Force” meets these requirements and helps police and crews around the world.

In terms of design, the Ener-G-Force is based on the G-Class; the off-road icon that has been in production since the 1970s, and continues to shape the future as a structurally and technologically advanced SUV.

Subaru SHARC Concept by Subaru Research and Development, Inc.


With the grand opening of Hawaii’s sparkling new inter-island Paradise Highway, Subaru debuts the cutting-edge SHARC (Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept). SHARC highway patrol vehicles will provide an innovative, affordable, and environmentally conscious solution for 24-hour highway monitoring, protection, and rapid emergency response.

Meeting Hawaii’s strict UltraGreen carbon-neutral environmental regulations and reflecting a trend for reduced highway patrol budgets worldwide, zero-emission SHARC vehicles are powered by renewable energy and operate autonomously, eliminating the need for a large full-time highway patrol staff.

The Jury

Entries will be judged by Tom Matano, executive director, School of Industrial Design at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University; Imre Molnar, provost and chief academic officer at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies; and Stewart Reed, chair of Transportation Design at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design. This year’s guest judge, Bruce Meyer, is a board member of the California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation, former racer and past chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Judging criteria will be based upon various factors including: consideration of future needs for advanced technology; speed and agility on future freeway systems; creativity of the solution; meeting a specific region’s emission standards; and environmental sensitivity, including maintenance and recyclability.

About the Design Challenge

The Design Challenge takes place annually during the LA Auto Show Press Days, Nov. 28-29, 2012.

For each of the past nine years, a new Design Challenge theme is chosen and the major automotive design studios showcase their talents, competing against one another to further explore new ideas in automotive design.

The LA Auto Show Press Days hosts the largest gathering of design professionals in North America for a variety of design-focused activities including a Designers’ Night party that brings together design industry leaders from around the world.

(Source: LA Auto Show)

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