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Electric mobility vehicle (eMO) revealed at NAIAS auto show

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TATA Technologies was selected by Michelin to display its electric MObility (eMO) vehicle as part of an engineering study at the NAIAS auto show.

TATA Technologies was selected by Michelin to display its electric MObility (eMO) vehicle as part of an engineering study at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

Revealed as part of the Michelin Challenge Design display, the eMO vehicle is a four-passenger urban car with a price tag of $20,000. It can travel at speeds of 65 MPH. Some of the features the model possesses are a glass roof, air bags, touchscreen dashboard, dual motor and foldable back seats for additional storage space.

It was designed in order to pass all current U.S safety requirements.

The eMO design emphasizes what it sees as the 'right size' for an urban car, and minimizes its exterior space while maintaining enough room for four adults.

eMO also incorporates aerodynamic surfaces and shorter overhangs within its design. Considering sustainability, TATA included means to ensure a low carbon footprint and a high recyclability rate through eMO's materials. The car integrates a number of 'eco friendly' materials, such as molded polymer panels which eliminate the need of paint or traditional body shops.

Tata Technologies’ Vehicle Programs & Development (VPD) Group, with more than 300 engineers in 4 centers spread across continents, played a part in designing eMO. Kevin Fisher, VPD President, explained the beginning of the eMO program:

"In mid-2010, in anticipation of the April 2011 launch of VPD, we researched numerous concepts for an internal engineering study that would highlight both the Tata Technologies dedication to environmental responsibility and sustainability, and showcase our global experience, knowledge, capacity and innovation."

Each year, Michelin invites developers to showcase design work that would not usually have the opportunity to gain exposure at a major auto show. This year's Michelin theme was "City 2046: Art, Life and Ingenuity -- Transforming Personal Mobility," challenged participants to design a ground-based vehicle that can transport between two and 10 people, and meet the anticipated needs of select cities in the future -- 2046 to be precise.

Fisher believes that over the next decade, there will be an influx of demand for new and more efficient transportation models. Due to this, the automotive industry will be required to develop and incorporate new technologies in to their vehicles -- perhaps the trend towards eco-friendly materials will also continue.

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure