Subaru's SHARC, winner of the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show Design ChallengeEnlarge Photo
In the future, highway patrol vehicles are likely to look a lot different from the police cruisers of today. This year's Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge asked automakers to sketch what the ideal highway patrol vehicle of 2025 might look like, and top honors go to Subaru for its SHARC design.
Short for “Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept,” Subaru Global Design’s entry may look a bit insubstantial for police work, but its wheels can rotate ninety-degrees downward, forming propeller blades. That gives the SHARC the ability to fly, negating any worries about traffic or terrain.
It’s designed for autonomous use and fueled by renewable energy, which means it meets the criteria for Hawaii’s “Ultra-Green” carbon-neutral environmental mandates, too.
Still, the innovative concept was up against some serious competition from the likes of BMW’s Designworks USA, General Motors Advanced Design California, Honda’s R&D design studios from both Los Angeles and Tokyo, and Mercedes-Benz R&D North America’s Advanced Design Center California.
The SHARC won out, however, as it “captured the vision of the Design Challenge theme by combining functionality and problem-solving technology around a dynamic and plausible story,” in the words of Chuck Pelly from Design LA.
The concept may offer police departments of the future greater patrol flexibility, but we can’t imagine that many police unions will be happy about its staff-reducing fully-autonomous design.
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