For the more than 700 registered competitors, the journey to winning DARPA’s first FANG Challenge begins today. After months of planning and organizing into more than 150 teams, participants from across the United States will begin collaborating on mobility and drivetrain subsystem designs for the Fast Adaptable Next-Generation Ground Vehicle (FANG). At the end of the competition, DARPA plans to award a $1 million prize to the team whose design submission best achieves established requirements for performance, lead time and cost using the META design tools and the VehicleFORGE collaboration environment. The winning team will also have its design constructed as an automotive test rig in the iFAB foundry.
In October, DARPA called upon innovators with expertise in designing and engineering of drivetrain and mobility systems to register for the first of three planned challenges. The FANG Challenges will tap expertise from both within and outside the traditional defense industry for fresh ideas while testing the VehicleFORGE platform along with specially developed META design tools and model libraries. The goal of the competition is to compress the design-to-production time of a complex defense system by up to a factor of five.
“Today’s launch marks a significant milestone in exploring a radically novel collaborative approach to the military vehicle design-to-production process,” said Army Lt. Col. Nathan Wiedenman, program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. “We have the potential to create a whole new engineering and system development process, disrupting the current approach to building not only military vehicles, but all forms of complex systems.”
DARPA is expected to host a second FANG Challenge in early 2014, which will focus on chassis, structural and survivability subsystems, potentially culminating with another $1 million prize. A third and final FANG Challenge, which would result in a full vehicle design, is anticipated in early 2015 with a $2 million award.
New competitors may continue to register for DARPA’s first FANG Challenge until April 1. For more information or to register, go to vehicleforge.org.
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