06/29/2015, 11:00 AM CEST

DHL Blue Sky Transport Design Award winner announced ahead of final FIA Formula E Championship race in London

The inaugural competition saw a huge level of interest and attracted a phenomenal response with over fifty entries from across the globe. 

The Water Strider is an autonomous hydrofoil electric boat capable of carrying up to five cubic meters of cargo via a country's existing waterway system.

  • Judging panel, chaired by world-class designer Paul Priestman, selected the winner of the electric vehicle design competition
  • "Water Strider: Blue Water, Clean Sky, Quiet Roads" by Oliver Lehtonen and Philippe Hohlfeld announced as winning design

London,Bonn - The winner of the inaugural DHL Blue Sky Transport Design Award, a global competition calling on the public to design a sustainable transport solution with the potential to shape the future of the transport industry, has been announced as Philippe Hohlfeld and Oliver Lehtonen's Water Strider.  The Water Strider is an autonomous hydrofoil electric boat capable of carrying up to five cubic meters of cargo via a country's existing waterway system. Its prototype was unveiled on the 26 June at PriestmanGoode's design studio in central London.

The inaugural competition saw a huge level of interest and attracted a phenomenal response with over fifty entries from across the globe. Aspiring designers and engineers from as far afield as Australia, China, Russia and the UK submitted ideas ranging from self-driving cargo vehicles for passenger or cargo transport and hybrid airships to railway systems integrated with a city's tree infrastructure.  

Based on the vision of the FIA Formula E Championship, the world's first fully electric racing championship, entrants were invited to design an electric transportation vehicle for private, public or commercial use. Submissions for the Blue Sky Transport Design Award were evaluated based on criteria including their originality, functionality, aesthetics, commercial feasibility and potential to solve the problems they are intended to address.

The winners of the Award were selected by a jury including experts from Formula E, the Andretti FE racing team, Wired magazine and DHL Express, and presented with a prize of £10,000.

A fast, quiet and clean delivery service

Oliver and Philippe are both graduating students (2015) of Transport Design at the Royal College of Art in London. Oliver, who is from Finland, and Philippe, from Luxembourg, said: "The Water Strider solution derives from the fact that the majority of the world's major cities are accessed through waterways. This inspired us to create a model for autonomous delivery boats to take advantage of existing infrastructure: rivers and oceans. This innovative technology and approach enables a fast, quiet and clean delivery service."

Ken Allen , CEO of DHL Express said: "We have been really impressed both by the response to the DHL Blue Sky Transport Design Award and the quality of the entries from around the world. The competition has confirmed to us the huge amount of interest there is in the topics of sustainable transport and electric vehicles. I'd like to congratulate Oliver and Philippe on their excellent design, which stood out for its originality and its approach, which reflects our own vision of how transport will become more sustainable in the future: making better, more effective use of the infrastructure that already exists today while taking advantage of modern electric vehicle technology and design to improve performance and carbon efficiency."