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2012 LA Auto Show Design Challenge asks automakers for futuristic highway patrol vehicle

Kyle Thibaut
For the past nine years, organizers of the Los Angeles Auto Show have chosen a Design Challenge theme, ranging from futuristic race cars to ultra-lightweight concepts. The Design Challenge is a contest for any automaker's studio to show off their design prowess with forward-thinking insights into the future of transportation. This year's theme is 'Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025' and the results are both intriguing and a bit scary.

"The vehicle should empower highway patrol officers to meet new demands and effectively both 'protect and serve' the public while considering not just enforcement needs but emission concerns, population growth and transportation infrastructure, among other trends," according to the LA Auto Show's website. The submissions will be judged based on design, creativity and environmental considerations.

Design studios from BMW, GM, Honda, Mercedes, and Subaru have all entered submissions, with the winner to be announced November 29 during an event at the 2012 LA Auto Show.

Check out the gallery below for the design entrants:

  • BMW Group DesignworksUSA

    BMW’s entrant comes from LA-based BMW Group DesignworksUSA. The team chose Los Angeles as their futuristic setting. Their E-Patrol (Human-Drone Pursuit Vehicle) design was developed based on BMW's prediction of more traffic and faster vehicles in LA's future. Given that the designs are also judged on environmental factors, it goes without saying that many of the vehicles get their power from alternative fuel sources, including BMW's E-Patrol.

    The design’s main focus is drone technology. The primary vehicle can deploy three drones for pursuit under heavy traffic conditions. The officer has the option of sending out either a flying or single-wheeled drone to chase suspects and keep tabs on them (much like the police vehicles in 2002's Minority Report).

  • Image Credit: BMW
  • General Motors Advanced Design California

    GM developed the Volt Squad, a three vehicle fleet designed around the principles "observe, pursue, and engage." Each concept has an explicit role for each situation. As expected, an electric Voltec powertrain is at the core of each vehicle.

  • Image Credit: GM
  • Honda R&D Americas, Inc., Advanced Design Studio

    Honda Advanced Design, based in California, created the CHP Drone Squad. Designed to work in a harsh environment predicted for the California highway system in 2025, the Drone Squad is comprised of a 2 vehicle system. The two vehicles operate both manned and un-manned. The mission control vehicle deploys Moto-Drones similar to BMW’s design. Moto-Drones are un-manned motorcycles that can operate in multiple types of response or rescue missions.

  • Image Credit: HONDA
  • Honda R&D Company, Ltd., Advanced Design Studio

    Honda R&D Japan has entered what they call CHiPs 2025 Traffic Crawler. The Traffic Crawler offers sporty mobility to get around congestion, but with the toughness to respond to more severe traffic situations.

    Honda Japan forsees many traffic changes in 2025. In addition to predictable traffic problems, vehicles becoming more fuel efficient will lead to more traffic in the region, free of environmental impact.

  • Image Credit: HONDA
  • Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America

    The consensus is that by 2025, officers will face even more crowded roads with electronically monitored and controlled traffic. A much larger population and changes in human behavior are thought to be the cause. The Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force is an environmentally-friendly, off-road capable SUV, helping police get to where they need to be, wherever that is.

    Could the Ener-G-Force indicate what a futuristic G-Class might look like? Only time will tell.

  • Image Credit: MERCEDES
  • Subaru Research and Development, Inc.

    Subaru’s entrant takes on entirely different terrain. With the grand opening of Hawaii’s new speculated inter-island Paradise Highway in 2025, Subaru thinks their SHARC (Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept) could tackle demands of the future highway. SHARC will be used for 24-hour highway monitoring and rapid emergency response.

    In addition to fuel sustainability, the SHARCs will also be human-sustainable by operating autonomously.

  • Image Credit: SUBARU


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 175 Comments
      jontrentj
      • 2 Years Ago
      they will come equipped with coffee makers and donut dispensers.
      Diamond
      • 2 Years Ago
      Police are to protect and serve not to have space looking vehicles , I think this is getting a bit much , I would really hate to see what this world is going to turn out to be , I hope I'm with my peace maker before all this self made aliens things arrive ,
      Owen
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hooray for the police, I guess all the bums and criminals on this site, are quaking in their boots
        donrp49
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Owen
        get a life. half you idiots would (are should i say couldnt) do the job these men and women do. just be thankful there watching your back!!
      straight2spam
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not with this crappy economy.maybe the lame ducks in Washington maybe crussing on the 2025 cars.
      mr.orn
      • 2 Years Ago
      WOW !
      topspin360
      • 2 Years Ago
      There will be more evidence gathering devices on these vehicles and on the officers too,count on it.a computer with camera will be fitted in an eyepiece in short time.Technology is moving at a fast pace,just look back ten years until today.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Protect and serve lol what a joke. All cops do now a days is give speeding tickets and bother innocent people to make a quota..
        Fred
        • 2 Years Ago
        so the next time your sphincter in being violated,you gunna call your mommy?
      XMLXtreme
      • 2 Years Ago
      They are going with The Fifth Element Look!
      ricardoandco
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why do they need more hi-tech cars that cost so much, Ohh I guess they can use all the money they generate by passing out tickets, yes they make gazillions of dollars. They are suppose to serve and protect and when they are not doing that they are hunters . . . . and we the people are hunted and ripped off by the Police and our Court System . . . . what a JOKE!!
      Hitmanblues
      • 2 Years Ago
      What ever they look like if we do not get better police than what we have now than they will still be driven by abusive punks in uniform.
        blindskeeter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hitmanblues
        Why would anyone want to be a cop? Cops are the gang of blue. Nothing less, nothing more.
          BRETT
          • 2 Years Ago
          @blindskeeter
          .......said the drug dealer...............
      lthrnck68
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yup, I'm going worry about that until 2025 rolls around.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Evelyn. I agree that Frank`s st0rry is really cool... last monday I got a great new Acura after I been earnin $6651 this month and-even more than, 10/k this past munth. without a doubt it is the best job I have ever done. I actually started 4 months ago and right away was bringing in minimum $82, per-hr. I use the details on this website, Cloud65.com
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