INSPIRING INNOVATION: 100 YEARS LATER, GLOBAL STUDENTS CREATE 21ST CENTURY MODEL T CONCEPTS
- To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Model T, Ford Motor Company challenged students at 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.
DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 1, 2008 – One hundred years to the day after Henry Ford changed the world when he produced the first Model T, Ford Motor Company is announcing the winners of a four-month competition that challenged six schools from around the world to dream big and create a Model T concept for this century.
Student teams at Aachen University of Cologne, Germany, and Deakin University of Melbourne, Australia, earned each of their schools $25,000 in scholarship funds by delivering 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.
“It’s not often we celebrate the centennial anniversary of an iconic vehicle, so we created the Model T Challenge as an opportunity for students to conceptualize future transportation in a way that is unique to Ford,” said Bill Coughlin, president and chief executive officer of Ford Global Technologies, LLC. “To date, there has never been a vehicle that has left such an impact on the lives of millions, and Ford challenged students to present an alternative that just might do so again.”
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.; and 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.
Model Ts of the Future
Developing a 21st century concept of the car that put the world on wheels wasn’t an easy task. 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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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Ford Global Technologies, LLC
Ford Global Technologies, LLC (FGTL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. As a member of the Office of the General Counsel, FGTL is responsible for managing intellectual property matters for Ford Motor Company and its affiliate companies. FGTL manages patents, trademarks, copyrights, licensing matters, research and development contracts and trade secrets. FGTL is located in the United States and is supported by intellectual property offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and China.
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 229,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit our website at www.ford.com.