Jonathan Knowles is a Director of Strategic Initiatives and an adviser to the CEO and CTO. Recently he shared this with me.
We had a visitor at Pier 9 on Friday, December 19 that brought two unique vehicles bound for a history-making expedition across Antarctica. Drive Around the World, a nonprofit founded in the Bay Area, revealed its latest innovation, a pair of hybrid-electric Polar Traverse Vehicles, also known as the ZERO SOUTH PTVs.
The ZERO SOUTH vehicles arrived at Pier 9 after stopping at Moscone Center to pick up several leading scientists attending this year's American Geophysical Union — the largest Earth and space science gathering in the world. These revolutionary vehicles, designed using Autodesk tools, have undergone an extensive transformation from gas guzzling Hummers to open source, environmentally conscious biofuel hybrid-electric vehicles outfitted with ice tracks and capable of standing up to the earth's harshest environments. Vehicle designers and leading NASA scientists conducted interviews discussing the expedition logistics and the latest in climate discoveries while at Pier 9.
There is intentional irony in repurposing the Hummer H1, which many view as a contemporary symbol of gross consumer waste and inefficiency. Others view it as a remarkable multipurpose machine capable of extreme on- and off-road performance. But no matter which way the audience is "polarized" by the vehicle, this adventure will appeal to everyone.
Big wheels are alive in the lab.