| 31/01/2012 | 0 Comments

Pentagon wanted to conclude a new defense contract and looked for specialized companies able to meet deadlines and budget requirements, as stated in the relevant tender rules. This time the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) held an open call with the aim to purchase a future combat vehicle. The winner was the prototype XC2V Flypmode of Local Motors.

Story by: Lluís Astier / 4A PRESS
Photos by: Local Motors / DARPA

In February 2011, the U.S. agency DARPA challenged the general public, all types of companies and organizations, to design a multi-purpose military vehicle that could perform well in combat operations, reconnaissance, casualty evacuations and logistical operations. The tender utilized the crowd-sourcing method and the authority evaluated 150 tenders from large and small companies, universities and institutions for the development of the unit XC2V (short for Crowd-Derived Experimental Combat-Support Vehicle). The winning design was developed and built by an automobile company in Arizona called Local Motors, also known for making the Rally Fighter.
Traditionally tasks are performed by specific individuals. Crowd-sourcing is an open call to an undefined group of people and it gathers those who are most fit to perform complex tasks with relevant and fresh ideas. Some critics believe that crowd-sourcing exploits or abuses individuals in their jobs, although studies on the motivations of the masses have not yet shown that the masses feel exploited. On the contrary, many of the mass gain significant benefits from their participation.
Local Motors is a next generation U.S. company, with inspiration to create groundbreaking designs and revolutionary approach to car manufacturing and retail. It was founded by Jeff Jones and Jay Rogers as students in Boston. Jay Rogers, a car fanatic, served for nine years in the Marine Corps where he commanded an infantry company in Iraq. Graduated in international relations from Princeton University, he has an MBA from Harvard Business School, also.
The Flypmode is designed to move a weight of about 2.700kg and tow 1.800kg. It’s powered by General Motors engine LS-V8. Flypmode is built on a steel tubular chassis, incorporating a rigid rear axle of origin Ford and has independent suspension. A unique feature of this combat unit is the 360 ° visibility through the special design of the rear windows.
According to its designer, the Texan Victor Garcia: “Flypmode’s basic architecture focuses on giving it a full 360 º visibility and effective protection. The vehicle can be reconfigured in minutes between the version for combat and reconnaissance with interchangeable structures. It comfortably seats four, including the driver and has ample room to carry supplies. This could be extended up to six with four injured passengers safely laid down in the rear.”
The XC2V is basically a prototype and DARPA has no intention to manufacture the vehicle for the army anytime soon, but to develop the idea further on paper.

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