Motivation: During Hurricane Harvey alone, it is estimated that “as many as a million cars in the Houston metro area” were destroyed1. Floodwaters can corrode a car’s metal components, cause exhaust system failure, engine seizure and overheating, transmission failure, short-circuiting of wires, computer malfunctions, inoperative lights and dashboard, warped/rusted brakes and rotors, ABS malfunctions, airbag/restraint system failures, interior contamination, moldy seats/fabric, and bacteria in the car’s ventilation system. However, few cars are waterproofed and no device exists to reliably protect cars from floodwaters.

The Solution: Aütoflöt! A deployable automobile flotation device that lifts your car above the encroaching flood waters.

Design Considerations:

  • Budget of $1000
  • Must be easily carried by average person
  • Must be reasonably stored in trunk of car
  • Must be deployable in under 15 minutes
  • Must be modular to fit multiple vehicle types with redesign or retrofit


  • Total cost: $610
  • Full size weight: 150lbs – No single piece over 20lbs
  • Scale model setup time: 10 minutes
  • Maximum stable tilt angle: 50 degrees