Crowd-sourcing for a design is nothing new. It’s done for all sorts of things. Typically those things have nothing to do with the military though. It often takes years and years simply to get a design approved by the military and then takes more years to get a functional prototype and it can take a decade or more before a fully functional prototype is in the field and production version rolls off the line. DARPA wanted to find a new military ground vehicle and decided to test a new method to get it.
DARPA crowed-sourced the design of the XC2V military vehicle as a way to study the viability of designing military vehicles in this method and to see how much faster it would be than traditional design methods. This vehicle is a multipurpose ground transport that can take soldiers into and out of combat and can be converted to use as a medical transport too. The final design looks really cool and reminds me more than a little of an open desert trophy truck. The coolest part is that the crowd-sourcing really worked and worked very well. The company chosen to make the prototype you see in these photos is Local Motors.
The vehicle dubbed Flypmode won the XC2V competition and was given a 14-week deadline to build the first prototype. Local Motors didn’t need that long to get the bulletproof vehicle into the real world from the concept stage. The only thing I see that I have to wonder about is the exposed tires on the concept and the exposed engine bay on the front of the vehicle. They seem very susceptible to enemy fire.