Pivoting-Wheeled Pickup Sweeps 2011 Michelin Challenge Design
"You basically line yourself up and drive sideways right into that spot," Stieler said. "It's like a shopping cart."
Kelly Stieler won $2,500 in scholarships and the opportunity to display her work next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Stieler was picked from a group of 33 students by a jury of design professionals from Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Chrysler Group LLC and Michelin. Fifteen other students were chosen to display their designs at the auto show in January.
While Stieler didn't reinvent the pickup truck, she improved an existing design, adapting it to the needs of today's urban traffic. The pivoting wheels were added to provide the vehicle with easier access to parking spaces or unloading zones. To Stieler, a futuristic truck required a new twist, yet still had to be dependable. The truck also has a hatch that opens to the side, rather than a rear tailgate.
"If they're bumper-to-bumper with two cars, they don't have to worry about pulling stuff out of the back," Stieler said. "They can access it right from the sidewalk."
The victory presents Stieler and other students with the opportunity to meet design professionals at the Detroit auto show in an effort to find jobs.
autoevolution will be attending the 2011 NAIAS, so stay tuned for some real up close and personal shots of the vehicles, as well as for first-hand details of the motorized contraptions presented at the event.