SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 26, June 30, 2011

President Obama Recognizes Local Motors, DARPA and American Manufacturing

 

  obama
  Local Motors' CEO Jay Rogers and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) premiered the Experimental Crowd-Derived Combat-Support Vehicle (XC2V) military vehicle to President Obama on Monday, June 27, at Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center in Pittsburgh. 

Local Motors' CEO Jay Rogers and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) premiered the Experimental Crowd-Derived Combat-Support Vehicle (XC2V) military vehicle to President Obama on Monday, June 27, at Carnegie Mellon University's (CMU) National Robotics Engineering Center in Pittsburgh. The vehicle was co-created through the Local Motors community.

In his speech, President Obama shared plans for American manufacturing while recognizing the success of innovative businesses, including Local Motors. He also was introduced to the community that co-created the DARPA XC2V and met Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers.

President Obama stated that "federal agencies would partner with industries to boost manufacturing in areas critical to our national security," and he highlighted the development of the XC2V—a collaboration between Local Motors and DARPA:

"DARPA wanted to see if it was possible to design defense systems cheaper and faster. So they found a small company in Arizona called Local Motors and they gave them a test:  You have one month to design a new combat support vehicle, and you’ve got three months to build it. Their CEO Jay Rogers is here today, and as an ex-Marine who lost a couple of buddies in combat, understood the importance of increasing the speed and adaptability and flexibility of our manufacturing process for vehicles that are used in theater. So Local Motors solicited design ideas on their website, chose the best out of 162 that it received, built and brought this new vehicle here ahead of schedule. We just took a look at it. Not only could this change the way the government uses your tax dollars—because think about it, instead of having a 10-year lead time to develop a piece of equipment with all kinds of changing specs and a moving target, if we were able to collapse the pace at which that manufacturing takes place, that could save taxpayers billions of dollars. But it also could get products out to theater faster, which could save lives more quickly, and could then be used to transfer into the private sector more rapidly, which means we could get better products and services that we can sell and export around the world. So it’s good for American companies. It’s good for American jobs. It’s good for taxpayers. And it may save some lives in places like Afghanistan for our soldiers."

Local Motors delivered the DARPA XC2V military vehicle, and with it proved that the process of crowdsourcing or co-creation can effectively increase the rate of innovation and efficiency.  The vehicle concept was created and delivered in six months.

Click here to watch the video of the President's speech.

Both Local Motors and CMU are SEMA members. CMU’s CREATE Lab is pursuing a project to identify off-the-shelf technology that will allow cars to be retrofitted with electric power plants: http://chargecar.org/home. The “ChargeCar” initiative will make electric vehicles practical and affordable for urban commuting. It will also foster sales of specialty equipment and create high-tech jobs in the auto industry. SEMA has provided technical assistance to support the venture. 

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