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Brief Published: 3 Jul 2015

Future Transport: Winners Announced

DHL Water Strider

The winners of global logistics firm DHL's inaugural Blue Sky Transport Design Award were announced on June 29 in London – the result of a global competition to design transport solutions that could shape the future of the industry.

Philippe Hohlfeld and Oliver Lehtonen, graduating students of Transport Design at London's Royal College of Art, were awarded £10,000 ($15,611) for their DHL Water Strider concept. The autonomous electric boat would be capable of delivering goods into the centre of major cities – most of which have been built on navigable rivers – making use of existing waterways and avoiding congested roads.

The designers are negotiating with DHL to make their concept a reality. Lehtonen told Stylus: "The world is not short of great designers who can come up with great products or services, but it's in need of true co-operation between different industry stakeholders to make these ideas become a reality."

Lehtonen believes the next generation of vehicle designers needs to go further than just updating conventional transport – electric motors in cars do not solve congestion, for example. Instead, the team sees social innovation in the transport industry and harnessing changing consumer attitudes as the best route to positive change.

For more on transport futures and automation, see FT Future of the Car Summit 2015 and Urban Transport Revs Up.