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Fiat Chrysler invites high school students to design a Dodge for 2047

Why it matters to you

This contest for high school students may be how the next generation of automotive designers get their start.

What will cars look like in 30 years? Will they be autonomous? Will they be powered by batteries? Fuel cells? Will they have advanced connectivity features, or lasers, perhaps?

It’s unclear what the future holds, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is trying to recruit the people that will design it. For the fifth year, the automaker is running a design contest for high school students in grades 10-12. Called “Drive for Design,” it invites those students to design a Dodge for 30 years in the future.

Other than that basic outline, there are no rules governing the type of vehicle cans design, and a deadline of April 28. Any medium is acceptable, although images must be scanned and submitted as a PDF, JPG, or PNG to the Drive for Design website. All entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges, and a winner will be announced June 16.

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FCA started Drive for Design five years ago to “connect with young art students and make them aware of careers in automotive design,” Mark Trostle, FCA North America’s head of performance for passenger car and utility vehicle design, said in a press release. For 2017, FCA’s U.S. product design office is partnering with EyesOn Design and Lawrence Technological University on the design contest.

First prize includes a $50,000 scholarship to Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan, a two-week summer automotive design course at the school, and a MacBook Pro. Second and third prizes also include the design course, plus an iPad and Apple Pencil. All winners also get trips to Michigan for the EyesOn Design Vision Honored Black Tie and Silent Auction (where the prizes will be formally awarded), and the organization’s Automotive Design Exhibition.

EyesOn Design focuses on events related to automotive design. Its work generates revenue for the Detroit Institute for Ophthalmology. Lawrence Technological University emphasizes subjects like engineering, architecture, science, and applied technology, according FCA’s press release on the design contest.