Subaru SHARC takes out 2012 LA Design Challenge
By David Szondy
December 4, 2012
Subaru’s SHARC (Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept) has been named the winner of the 2012 LA Design Challenge. The futuristic concept car was chosen by the judges as the best embodiment of the “Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025."
Subaru’s SHARC beat six other automotive design studios, each of which presented its own concept of "the ultimate 2025 law enforcement patrol vehicle that supports the needs of dynamic urban environments."
Subaru’s design for an unmanned 24-hour highway monitoring vehicle is intended for use by Hawaii’s highway patrol to police the state’s hypothetical “Paradise Highway” spanning the waters between the islands in 2025. The design is meant to be not only cutting edge, but also to conform to Hawaii’s UltraGreen carbon-neutral environmental regulations and eliminate the need for a large patrol staff in a time of shrinking budgets.
The SHARC is basically a big kevlar balloon with a framework made out of memory material that changes when you run a charge through it. Launched out of a tube, it expands to full size revealing wheels that are shockingly multipurpose. Each one has a 96 bhp electric wheel hub motor and the band-like tires have two tread surfaces set at an angle so the SHARC can make high-speed runs or navigate rough terrain. In between the treads is a slot for the headlamps and tail lights to shine through and the blade-like wheel spokes are actually propellers for when the SHARC takes to the air.
At the end of the day, SHARC deflates itself, rolls itself up again and goes back in its tube.
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