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Witty Wheels & Penny-Pinching Prototypes: Stellantis & IIT Madras Hack the Hackathon with Frugal Car Concepts

CHENNAI, March 04, 2024 – In an event that could only be described as where creativity meets frugality, Stellantis teamed up with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) and its Centre for Innovation (CFI) to kickstart a Technical Idea Hackathon that put the pedal to the metal on cost-cutting ingenuity in the auto industry.

With over 500 engineering whiz kids rolling up their sleeves, the week-long brainstorming bonanza turned IIT Madras into a veritable innovation incubator. The mission? To drive down costs without putting the brakes on quality, all while getting hands-on with Citroën’s slickest Smart Car models like the C3, eC3, and C3 Aircross.

These budding engineers didn’t just hit the road running; they sprinted, generating over a hundred entries packed with innovative ideas aimed at making the automobile industry leaner, meaner, and greener. The hands-on experience with Citroën’s lineup wasn’t just a test drive—it was an ignition of creativity, leading to practical, penny-wise prototypes that could very well shape the future of frugal motoring.

As the dust settled on the brainstorm track, six teams crossed the finish line to claim their share of the INR 4 Lakhs prize pool, awarded for their standout cost-cutting concepts and economical engineering excellence. Ashwani Muppasani, COO of Stellantis India & Asia Pacific, was on hand to wave the checkered flag and celebrate the winning ideas, all while underscoring Stellantis’ commitment to fostering a symbiotic relationship between industry and academia.

“We’re not just excited but downright electrified by the surge of student-designed innovations that emerged from this hackathon,” Muppasani commented, barely containing his enthusiasm. “These ideas aren’t just pie in the sky; they’re practical, implementable solutions that can truly accelerate our journey towards sustainable, affordable mobility for all. Hats off to all the participants for shifting gears and showcasing their entrepreneurial spirit and innovative horsepower.”

As the event concluded, it was clear that the real winners were not just the students who took home the prizes but also the future of the automotive industry, now supercharged with fresh, frugal ideas ready to tackle the challenges of cost optimization head-on. Who knew cutting costs could be such a ride?

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