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Developing the Future of Transportation: Ultra Niche Manufacturers

As endless speculations and hypotheses are made this week over the future of America’s automakers, what might happen if the big three shattered...

Dave Pinter
Dave Pinter on November 18, 2008. @DavePinter

As endless speculations and hypotheses are made this week over the future of America’s automakers, what might happen if the big three shattered into many small companies? Some new companies have already noticed cracks forming in the product offer and are launching their own vehicles that aim to be better than anything Detroit could make.

Carbon Motors is looking to produce one vehicle for one purpose only. The E7 is the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle, designed by law enforcement, for law enforcement. The company recently unveiled a working prototype and has mounted a tour to introduce the vehicle to law enforcement agencies. The production model is intended to come with a Forced Induction 3.0 litre Diesel that can run on Ultra-low sulfur Diesel or BioDiesel. The E7 aims to provide up to a 40 percent improvement in fuel economy. The fuel economy savings translates to money that departments can dedicate to other programs.

The car was designed to be robust and last to a 250,000 mile durability specification. Inside the car, many features aim to improve the officers job. There’s an extensive list of integrated technologies like a heads up display, driver specific intelligent key, automatic license plate recognition system, nightvision compliant interior illumination, and an integrated forward looking infrared system (FLIR).

The exterior of the vehicle has been developed to offer functional characteristics and have a distinctive appearance. The vehicle can sustain a 75 mph rear impact crash. Robust bumpers can function as push bars. All the exterior lighting has been integrated for better visibility on every side of the car.

High on Carbon Motors list was improving safety. They identified that approximately 50 percent of all officer injuries occur in the vehicles they drive. Causes for these injuries include not only crashes, but also poor ergonomics, limited space, and injuries stemming from the insertion and removal of combative subjects. The E7 includes purpose designed driver and passenger seats that account for the gear officers usually wear. Even the rear doors were mounted ‘coach’ style to swing out from the seats allowing for easier ingress and egress of the suspects.

[ via Cartype ]

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