Pictured above is an innovative hypermiling concept vehicle – developed by Cambridge Design Partnership – that can travel up to 1,325 miles on a single gallon of gas. Perhaps more impressive is that, yes, an eleven-year-old named Kitty Foster is driving it.

The lightweight proof-of-concept vehicle, which doesn't seem to have been given a proper name, was driven by Kitty at the UK's annual Mileage Marathon Challenge that took place at Mallory Park outside of Leicester on June 21. She said:
When I told my parents how far this car could go on a gallon of fuel they were absolutely amazed! It wasn't too hard. The Go system helped me use as little fuel as possible. It monitored the car's performance, which helped us know when to stop the engine and start coasting.
The unique Go System, which is crucial to the vehicle's diesel-sipping status, provides real-time GPS tracking information, monitors the vehicle's performance and regulates the engine to maximize fuel efficiency. Cambridge Design Partnership used elements from its own lightweight oxygen concentrator, as well as other proprietary in-house technologies, to create the concept vehicle. The oxygen generator system, originally developed to treat injured soldiers, is key to the vehicle's fuel efficiency.

Powered by a "micro-diesel engine" and fitted with low-rolling resistance tires, the unnamed vehicle has been optimized to sip fuel at such a slow rate that some might think it's a hoax (unlikely, since you can get pretty impressive mpg results from absurd one-off vehicles). In any case, the funky looking auto is still in the research and development stage and is not suitable for real-world use. However, Cambridge scientists hope that the experience gained in developing this concept will eventually lead to a roadworthy fuel-sipper. Will Kitty be old enough to drive when it arrives?

[Source: Cambridge Design Partnership]
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CDP technology powers eco car

Cambridge Design Partnership uses technology derived from innovative military technology in eco-driving challenge.

Cambridge Design Partnership announces that it has reused elements of its own Lightweight Oxygen Concentrator, as well as various other technologies developed in-house, to contribute to a specialist vehicle capable of travelling 1,325 miles on a single gallon of diesel for this year's Mileage Marathon Challenge. The small proof-of-concept car was driven by an eleven year old Cambridgeshire girl in partnership with a local school.

The annual Mileage Marathon Challenge, which took place today at Mallory Park motor track near Leicester, is intended to promote engineering and technology to school and college students, as well as eco-friendly vehicle concepts.

As BBC TV reported earlier this year, Cambridge Design Partnership designed an oxygen-generator system to deliver oxygen to injured frontline soldiers. This system, powered by an innovative micro-diesel-engine, removed the need to take heavy and potentially explosive oxygen canisters onto the battlefield. This project involved Cambridge Design Partnership's evaluation of a variety of miniature engines, one of which was selected to power this remarkable vehicle.

The vehicle also features low friction tyres to increase mileage, and was tracked using Cambridge Design Partnership's 'Go' real-time tracking service. The Go technology allows live tracking to be integrated into products and services easier than ever before, and has previously been used to track the Tour of Britain cycle race and promotional vehicles for a novel marketing campaign around Paris. In this case, the live telemetry provided by Go allowed the team to optimise the race strategy for the eco-car, adding an impressive 150mpg to the specialist vehicle. It also made it more interesting for supporters, allowing them to see the live speed and location of the car using their Smartphone from wherever they happened to be.

The vehicle was driven by local schoolgirl Kitty Foster, 11, of Kings School, Ely. CDP extends its congratulations to Kitty and King's School for such an impressive achievement.

"When I told my parents how far this car could go on a gallon of fuel they were absolutely amazed!" Kitty commented. "Actually, it wasn't too hard. The Go system helped me use as little fuel as possible. It monitored the car's performance which helped us know when to stop the engine and start coasting. The GPS information made a big difference and added 150 mpg. The whole car was great fun to drive. It's good to see cars getting more environmentally friendly, and I'm really pleased we've done so well in the challenge'.

"This is about more than just an ultra-eco-friendly car," commented Stephen Lamb, the MoD project leader from CDP. "This supports what our technologies can achieve. We quickly realized that our R&D work for the MoD, creating an Oxygen generator, was highly applicable to the Mileage Marathon Challenge. Both required an extremely efficient system that used very low power and could run off diesel. Now I just need to figure out how to make my own car get the same kind of mileage!"

This project underlines the potential of the oxygen generator as a product for military and humanitarian applications. Where electricity is not readily available, for example on the battlefield, diesel can be a highly convenient form of power. The Oxygen generator is another example of how Cambridge Design Partnership focus on developing new products that use technology to meet genuine human needs.

Cambridge Design Partnership is available to apply its innovative research, design and development talents in a range of specialist fields, including consumer, healthcare, military, industrial and cleantech.


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