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Contest: LA Design Challenge 2007

Fri, 19 Oct 2007

Audi Virtuea Quattro
Designed at the Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California by Heather Shaw, Jae Min, Mattijs Van Tuijl, Karl Strahlendorf and Christian Schoen; the Virtuea Quattro is a single-seat autonomous driving machine. It functions as a solid unit at its core, while providing a myriad of possible holographic exteriors stored in a library and accessible through the vehicle's 'interactive holographic interface'. 

Powered by hydrogen, the vehicle combines artificial intelligence with avenues of self-expression. The Virtuea's holographic exterior provides a variety of possibilities, allowing the driver to select from the most innovative designs from one minute to the next. The vehicles' image can be proudly displayed without environmental impact as no physical materials are needed regardless of size.       

General Motors Advanced Design Studio California devised the ANT, created by a design team led by Frank Saucedo (who also sits on the advisory board of Design Los Angeles). Steve Anderson, Jussi Timonen, Jose Paris, Lorne Kulesus, Tony Liu, Jay Bernard and Phil Tanioka sought to replicate the self-regulating traffic system found in nature's best commuter, the ant, with an OnStar enabled vehicle-to-vehicle communication and ubiquitously embedded intelligence system. This allows GM's ANT to act independently, yet communicate with other vehicles to optimize traffic flow. Quantum computing power also allows each ANT to virtually recreate a highly personalized space for any occasion or personal need.

Omni-directional propulsion, provided by three independent Nanorb wheel systems, operate as independent robots and can arrange themselves in different configurations, turning virtually anything into a mobile device. Layered, environmentally friendly, single-walled, carbon-polymer nanocomposites form the flat surface panels, which incorporate the carbon nanotube battery.

All the body panels are connected with electro-active polymer actuators (a.k.a. artificial muscles), allowing the easy and silent reconfiguration of body panels, depending on their optimal street use.

Honda 1/4  - One to the Power of Four
Honda's Research & Development design team, consisting of Ben Davidson, Khrystyne Zurian and Shae Shatz, shaped the solar-hybrid powered Honda 1/4; an energy efficient, fully robotic commuting solution.

Anticipating a suburban community re-population movement in the 2050's, the solar-hybrid Honda 1/4 aims to satisfy increased consumer demand for a truly flexible commuter vehicle and solve the carpooling dilemma. The vehicle's name is indicative of its intended function: It allows carpoolers to take advantage of HOV lanes, share commuting costs and once near the passengers' final destinations, robotically transforms from one to four separate and unique modes of transportation.

Through a combination of gyros, artificial intelligence and molecular engineering, each individual vehicle instinctively reconfigures as a fully functional vehicle. When traveling as one, the division points are undetectable. The latest advancements in molecular engineering allow the body panels to divide and reshape to form each individual vehicle.

Mazda Motonari RX
Designed by Matthew Cunningham at Mazda R&D of North America, the Motonari RX - named after legendary Japanese warrior Mori Motonari - non-invasively integrates the driver with the vehicle, making each indistinguishable from the other. A driving suit serves as the primary interface between the occupant and the vehicle, which contains millions of microscopic actuators functioning as a haptic envelope. This allows the driver to experience the road psycho-somatically, receiving electrical stimulation to specific muscle groups.

The entire structure of the vehicle is comprised of a 100 percent re-prototypable, carbon nano-tube/shape memory alloy weave with a photovoltaic coating. This enables programmable tensiometry and fluid movement while insuring efficient energy transfer to the in-wheel electro-static nanomotors. 

The four omni-wheels allow 360 degree movement, while acceleration and direction is determined by two armrest mounted control points. Occupant positioning controls the effectiveness of cornering and is comparable in appearance to a street luge maneuvering.


By Eric Gallina