Ford Model T Design Challenge: the winners

Ford Model T Design Challenge: the winners

Ford has announced the winners of its Model T Design Challenge. The first place was won by the students at Aachen University (Germany), and Deakin University (Australia).


TEXT ORIG To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Model T, back in May 2008 Ford had challenged six schools from around the world to create a revolutionary global vehicle for today that shares the Model T’s attributes: simple, lightweight, practical, compelling and low cost.

Students at Aachen University of Germany, and Deakin University of Australia, were selected as winners of Ford’s Model T Challenge, earning each of their schools $25,000 in scholarships.

Both the student teams delivered "innovative concepts that embodied the spirit of the Model T and best met the criteria of the challenge – vehicle concepts that are simple, lightweight, practical, compelling and low cost."

The Challenge

2015 Ford Model T 22015 Ford Model T by Aachen University

The four-month competition included teams of undergraduate, graduate and even high school students from schools around the world, who worked to create innovative concepts to address the transportation needs of the future.

Participating schools included:

  • Aachen University, Aachen, Germany;
  • Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, Calif.;
  • Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia;
  • Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Mich.;
  • University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, Mich.;
  • West Philadelphia High School, Philadelphia, Pa.

Each student team received $75,000 in funding from Ford Global Technologies to support the creation of a vehicle concept through sketches, models, research papers and potentially even working models that delivered on the brief.

The teams were challenged to create a vehicle that is simple, durable and lightweight. Each vehicle must accommodate at least two people and offer solutions that address assembly, powertrain and sustainability challenges.

Perhaps the most challenging criteria was that the concept vehicle was required to have a range of at least 200 kilometers (approximately 125 miles), and come equipped with a base target price of no more than $7,000.

Students worked against a deadline of Sept. 1 to submit their proposals. Five judges from Ford Motor Company, including Coughlin, critiqued each concept to select two concepts that best embodied the Model T spirit, personified the Ford brand and met the challenge criteria.

“The entire Ford team was very impressed by each of the entries,” Coughlin said. “We created this challenge looking for the students to push the boundaries and deliver an alternative transportation concept for tomorrow, and they each did just that.”

The projects

2015 Ford Model T by Aachen University 2015 Ford Model T by Aachen University

While teams created very different vehicle concepts, each entry incorporated elements influenced by Henry Ford’s original vision, embracing modern technology and packaging it with a functional, simple design.

2015 Ford Model T

The students from Aachen University created the “2015 Ford Model T” made of a basic structure complimented by different derivatives including a compact pick-up, a sedan, and a mini city car that would be sold worldwide.

The vehicle’s steel body was designed in a simple way and, therefore, most of the car can be built using standard tools.

Ford Model T2

Ford Model T2 by Deakin University Ford Model T2 by Deakin University

The students from Deakin University created a concept vehicle code named Model T2.

The small three-wheel vehicle platform, with a novel steering system, introduced a new dimension to vehicle maneuverability.

Through the use of advanced materials and manufacturing processes, the lightweight Model T2 when combined with the use of an innovative powertrain, compressed air rotary hub motors, represents a green and inexpensive vehicle.

To achieve the range of at least 200 kilometers (approximately 125 miles), and keep the target price to $7,000, each team applied cutting-edge technologies to power the futuristic concepts with everything from compressed natural gas to a battery-electric power.

(Source: Ford)

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