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'Eco' car powered by military technology meets eco-driving challenge

21 June 2011

Cambridge Design Partnership 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 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.

Cambridge Design Partnership's oxygen-generator system is designed to deliver oxygen to injured frontline soldiers. This system, powered by a micro-diesel-engine, removes the need to take heavy and potentially explosive oxygen canisters on to the battlefield. The 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, 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 in the annual Mileage Marathon Challenge by local schoolgirl Kitty Foster, 11, of Kings School, Ely.


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