The Uncanny X-Prize

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
the uncanny x prize

As we reported earlier, the X-Prize (of "paying people to shoot themselves into space in home-built rockets" fame) is bringing its "Revolution Through Competition" approach to the lofty goal of the 100mpg car. Well, they finally got the money together, thanks to title sponsor Progressive Insurance. And they even have a Senate resolution praising them for their bold, visionary whatever. So let the games begin! Oh, but first your garage-built go-kart must pass safety, cost, features and business plan inspections to ensure that only production-capable, consumer-friendly cars compete. Yup, they said business plans. Sorry Tesla!

Join the conversation
4 of 12 comments
  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Mar 21, 2008

    They ll laughed at Christopher Columbus ... ,but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

  • Shaker Shaker on Mar 22, 2008

    That "top speed of 100MPH" requirement is just about enough to guarantee that it's not gonna happen... unless the "four passengers" are lying flat.

  • John John on Mar 22, 2008

    A cynic would note the irony of an insurance company sponsoring this event. Experts in risk accessment, they could weigh the probability of payout vs the mountain of positive public exposure such an event would create. Any cynics here? John

  • Joshvar Joshvar on Mar 22, 2008

    I love this type of competition. I just wish I could watch development (drama-free) on TV as a reality series, along with intelligent, insightful commentary from the folks who work through the barriers they encounter. Maybe one of the less shitty networks could pick that up and boost the prize. Oh wait, sorry, I was dreaming. That would require brainpower to absorb! The private rocket XPrize was pretty fascinating to read about; most of the teams had good blogs, and chronicled what happens when people from all sorts of backgrounds approach a subject very, very few people have been involved with. Also, for $500k, sure, it's pretty small compared to the cost of entry, but I *THINK* the funding you can obtain isn't very regulated, so typically this will be for exposure and advertising, and the prize is just icing. Avoiding entry because "the prize is simply too small" sounds like a GM PR defecation.