The 2007 edition of Michelin's annual Design Challenge, titled "Sharing the Road," put the emphasis on vehicle designs to enhance road safety for North America. Why? Michelin gives us a few pretty sound reasons:
  • 43,445 people were killed on U.S. streets and highways in 2005, the most since 1990
  • the World Health Organization forecasts that by 2020, road traffic injuries will rank third among causes of death and injury-related disability worldwide, and sixth among all causes of death
  • 1.2 million people die each year in traffic accidents worldwide. Another 50 million are injured.
  • 12 percent of U.S. road deaths happen because of a collision between light vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickups) and heavy vehicles (semis, buses, etc.)
  • motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the U.S. for people 2 to 34 years of age
  • in Mexico 40 percent of fatalities involve pedestrians. In India the figure is over 50 percent
Designers around the world have submitted 260 designs for the 2007 Challenge, working to the theme "independently safe vehicles designed to share the road," and the best entries (as determined by a jury of designers) will be displayed at January's 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Jury chairman Stuart Reed of the Art Center College of Design goes so far as to take his students to junkyards to see the aftermath of vehicle accidents, to help them understand their responsibility in making vehicles as safe as possible for all road users.

Follow the link for more info and galleries of past Design Challenge entries.

[Source: Michelin]

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