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The Automotive X Prize was an intense competition that awarded $10 million in prize money for creating vehicles that get 100 mpg; can be mass produced; and could be sold for a reasonable price. The competition was designed to inspire a new generation of viable, safe, and super fuel-efficient vehicles.
Vehicles competed in two classes: Mainstream, which meets current consumer expectations for vehicles and Alternative, which serves as an outlet for innovative ideas. The Alternative class was further divided into the Side-by-Side and Tandem seating categories.
Vehicles were tested for efficiency, performance and durability under real-world conditions. Among the requirements, competition vehicles must pass a variety of pre-race safety inspections and active safety performance tests. These tests were conducted with advice and help from Consumer Reports, and certain tests performed in accordance with procedures developed by Consumer Reports. Examples include acceleration, braking, lateral-g, passing, and accident-avoidance tests.
After three intense phases of competition, three winners were awarded a share of the $10 million prize money at a ceremony in Washington D.C. in September 2010.