50 college students from 21 Universities around the world have converged on MIT for an 8-week Vehicle Design Summit. The goal? To invent 5 different kinds of cars that can drive from Boston to Seattle without having to stop — even once — for fuel! The teams will not compete, but collaborate, and share their innovation with the world, for all our benefit…


A couple of the cars will utilize the technologies of fuel cells and biofuel, and another will be a solar hybrid car. More about the exciting summer at MIT was in the July 16 Boston Globe.

When they can’t afford to buy something, they go to large firms, hoping for a sponsor…They’re on the phone daily with engineers at major auto companies and have had tremendous support from them. But the students have no plans for contracts or payback — they say they just want the carmakers to catch up with the latest technology.

(The organizers) hope to take the five cars cross-country to parade the technology on the 50th anniversary year of the interstate highway system. The cars would stop at auto industry points and universities along the way.

(story idea submitted to geri by gmoke at Daily Kos…) Visit the Vehicle Design Summit site.


  1. Hurry!
    Let’s be pragmatic – While I admire the broad intellectual exercise of scattering our best young engineering minds among 5 different, divergent paths ostensibly toward the same, though possibly inapplicable goal, time is not on our side. I really wish the goal were to choose the single most promising alternative energy platform we have already developed today – and go full bore on that until the problem is solved.

    There is already a tremendous body of R&D along several promising renewable energy technologies well beyond the stone age with solar, fuel-cells, nuclear, etc, in addition to some very promising alternative fuels. I don’t care if I have to refuel 20 times driving across country if the fuel is a clean, non-fossil fuel with zero impact on the environment and zero dependence on foreign suppliers. Intellectual curiosity toward the next big breakthrough in energy should always be supported, but we need more focused effort to get the problem solved now.

  2. yes, Amen to that!
    One thing they said is they are sick of waiting for the car manufacturers to figure it out. Let’s hope that the next technology pushed to the public is the most clean and green (NOT ethanol!) and we don’t have to wade through years of lesser” pollution.”

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