Local Motors names winner of Essence of Autonomy challenge; vehicle build with Grant Imahara starts soon
What will autonomous vehicles of the future look like? And what activities will we be free to do on the road, once fully self-driving vehicles become the norm?
Launched in partnership with Mouser Electronics and celebrity engineer Grant Imahara, the Local Motors Essence of Autonomy challenge sought to tackle the questions above. Local Motors community member Finn Yonkers of Rhode Island was the winner of the challenge, and now his vehicle will be built and become part of Mouser’s Empowering Innovation Together program.
Yonkers’ submission is a Local Motors Strati equipped with a drone launch pad on the back of the vehicle and screens that deploy inside of the windshield. Yonkers imagined that, without the responsibility of driving, the riders’ drone could fly overhead and use a camera to project a bird’s-eye view to the screens inside.
“Local Motors already had most of the technology to make the autonomous vehicle figured out. This project was about taking it to the next level,” said Grant Imahara. “To do this we called on the imaginations of engineers all across the world. Mouser’s Empowering Innovation Together™ program and vast array of parts enabled this, so it was a great partnership to bring our shared vision to life.”
As a part of his challenge prize, Yonkers will fly to Local Motors headquarters in Phoenix to build the vehicle alongside Imahara and Local Motors engineers.
“The Local Motors approach to direct digital manufacturing and the ingenuity of our co-creation community means that we have the ability to partner with cutting-edge suppliers like Mouser Electronics to bring innovations to life at unprecedented speeds,” said Local Motors Co-founder and CEO John B. Rogers, Jr. “The Mouser Strati offers a glimpse into the future of autonomous driving right now.”
“At Mouser, we love to help engineers push the boundaries of innovation. It’s not just fun — it’s rewarding. By increasing innovation and the speed of technology, we can all do more to help humanity and our world,” said Glenn Smith, President and CEO of Mouser Electronics. “We look forward to unveiling the finished product soon. Stay tuned!”