The Ansari X Prize sped up the development of recreational space travel, and it worked so well that it is planned in many other fields. Automotobiles are an obvious target, and the time is apparently now. The Automotive X Prize website has gone live. The purpose of this prize will be to encourage teams to design, build and sell cars that are both incredibly fuel efficient and practical and attractive enough that people will want to buy them. They also want to radically reduce oil consumption and harmful emissions. As indicated, their definite push seems to be for real life cars instead of amazing concepts that aren’t practical at all.
The specific details of the prize haven’t been posted yet, nor has a timeline or criteria. Still, this is an exciting first step. If this can have the same impact as the original prize (an impact that was far, far greater than the $10 million prize), then we could really see some incredible things happen.