Peterbilt Crowdsourcing Future Big-Rig Designs

Image: Nikita Kalinin

Big rigs may move the bulk of freight and rule the roads of the US, but their blocky designs aren’t exactly aerodynamic, sucking up lots of fuel as they shuttle cross-country. Plus, they’re just plain boring. So semi manufacturer Peterbilt is looking for more fuel-efficient tractor-trailers by holding a competition in conjunction with open source car company Local Motors to develop innovative aerodynamic designs.

The RIG2: Road Icon Generation 2 contest kicked off June 5 and is open to entries through June 26. Peterbilt is offering up $15,000 in prize money. The overall winning entry will nab $7,500. The second-place finisher gets $2,500 and third earns $1,500. The rest of the top 10 will win $500 each.

To further the crowdsource element of the competition, all finalists will be chosen by community voting, although the top prize will be selected by Peterbilt from the top 10 entries. Voting starts June 28 and runs through July 8. Winners will be announced on July 23. Contestants can access tools such as CAD and Photoshop files as well as regulations, guidelines requirements at the Local Motors Forge website.

Following the launch of its Forge collaboration site at the SEMA Show last November, the Local Motors partnership with Peterbilt comes on the heels of building its similarly crowd-sourced Rally Fighter. Local Motors includes a community of 17,000 designers, engineers and enthusiasts using an open source approach to design, manufacture and sell unique cars.

The platform also gives would-be vehicle designers the chance to find out how their ideas stack up in the real world, and possibly on the road. Customers can build their co-created vehicle at the Local Motors Micro Factory with professional assistance in two three-day build weekends. But a Peterbilt-like big rig would probably take a little longer.

Source: Wired