MIT consortium selects India as launching pad for new generation car

Mumbai: Vehicle Design Summit, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology initiative, has selected India as a launching pad for a new generation of cars that could revolutionise the automobile industry.

The MIT initiative led by a global consortium of top students, professors and experts in various fields of engineering, plans to use the rapidly growing Indian automotive market as a launch pad for the new generation vehicles.

The MIT project aims at developing a standard 4-passenger, 200MPG (miles per gallon), high-performance car with minimal maintenance costs and greater appeal for both developed and developing countries.

"There is huge amount of pressure and competition on the indigenous car manufacturers there (India) and our hope is to see them to be willing to take little bit of risk and really set the stage for game-changing vehicle," Anna Jaffe, co-founder of Vehicle Design Summit and a student at the MIT, said.

She said these vehicle could then go the US, Europe and China, but would be "first tested and validated and verified in the Indian market."

The entire team will convene in Germany in February 2008 to design a prototype for 100 MPGe car. The consortium aims to unveil a fully functional concept that achieves factor 10 lifecycle goals and provides a real platform for continuous improvement by August of 2008.