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Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept (SHARC) Named 2012 Design Challenge Winner At LA Auto Show

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Subaru Global Design wins the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge competition after the presentation of its SHARC (Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept) vehicle. As a futuristic model for 24-hour highway monitoring, the SHARC provides protection and rapid emergency response solutions for Hawaii's highway patrol.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060612/LAM005LOGO)

This year's Design Challenge theme, Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025, called upon premier automotive design studios to create the ultimate 2025 law enforcement patrol vehicle that supports the needs of dynamic urban environments. Six automotive design studios from BMW, General Motors, Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Subaru showcased entries featuring cutting-edge vehicle designs with drone technology, land and air capabilities, electric vehicle systems and renewable resource-fueled vehicles equipped with topographical scanners.

"All judges were impressed with the high level of innovation and technology from the finalists this year," said Chuck Pelly from Design LA. "The SHARC captured the vision of the Design Challenge theme by combining functionality and problem-solving technology around a dynamic and plausible story."

With global collaboration among its design studios, the creative minds at Subaru developed the cutting-edge SHARC as an affordable and environmentally conscious highway patrol vehicle that meets Hawaii's strict UltraGreen carbon-neutral environmental regulations. With visible trends in reduced highway patrol budgets worldwide, SHARC vehicles are powered by renewable energy and operate autonomously, eliminating the need for a large full-time highway patrol staff.

Entries were judged by multi-discipline design professionals who selected the winner based upon various factors including: consideration of future needs for advanced technology; speed and agility on future freeway systems; creativity of the solution; meeting the specific region's mandated emission standards; and environmental sensitivity for maintenance and recyclability.

Judges included Tom Matano, Executive Director, School of Industrial Design at San Francisco's Academy of Art University; Imre Molnar, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Detroit's College for Creative Studies; Steward Reed, Chair of Transportation Design at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design and Bruce Meyer, founder of the Petersen Automotive Museum and benefactor to automobile world.

The Design Challenge is a highly anticipated competition where automotive design studios from around the world battle against each other to flex their creativity.  Designers enjoy participating in the challenge because it is a strong venue to showcase their talents and further explore new ideas in automotive design.

Participating design studios included:

  • BMW Group DesignworksUSA
  • General Motors Advanced Design California
  • Honda R&D Americas, Inc., Advanced Design Studio, California
  • Honda R&D Company, Ltd., Advanced Design Studio, Tokyo
  • Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc.: Advanced Design Center California
  • Subaru Global Design

The LA Auto Show Design Challenge is sponsored by Faurecia, the world's sixth-largest automotive supplier specializing in automotive seating, emissions control technologies, interior systems and auto exteriors, as well as Yokohama Tire, which works closely with auto manufacturers in the U.S., Europe and Japan to develop tires for the latest concept vehicles. Other sponsors that make Design Los Angeles possible include the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA), Lacks Enterprises, Inc., Dassault Systemes, and Bose.

About the Design Challenge

The Design Challenge takes place annually on the final Press Day of the LA Auto Show. For each of the past nine years, a new Design Challenge theme is chosen and the major automotive design studios showcase their talents, competing against one another to further explore new ideas in automotive design. The LA Auto Show Press Days hosts the largest gathering of design professionals in North America for a variety of design-focused activities. A Designers' Night party concludes the second press day that brings together design industry leaders from around the world with two additional sponsors Eastman and Autodesk.

The Design Challenge has received rave reviews from journalists and extensive media exposure throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas. More information, including images, is available at LAAutoShow.com/DesignChallenge.html.

About the Los Angeles Auto Show

As the first major North American auto show of the season, the 2012 LA Auto Show will host some of the industry's most important new vehicle debuts and set the tone for the rest of the year. Following Press Days, the show becomes one of the best attended public auto shows in the world. To receive the latest show news and information, follow the LA Auto Show on Twitter at twitter.com/LAAutoShow, visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/LosAngelesAutoShow and sign up for alerts at LAAutoShow.com.

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