Coventry University MA Design Show 2007Fri, 21 Dec 2007
Coventry University's MA Automotive Design Show, now in its fifteenth year, recently had its annual exhibition in Coventry's Transport Museum. Entitled 'InGenius', the exhibition presented work which covered a spectrum of vehicle concepts, including public transport systems. The projects were presented as scale models and digital animated presentations using CAD modeling tools. In all, 17 students created proposals that responded to various research questions. Here are a few selections:
The I3 is a personal mobility vehicle that is based on individuality and visualization. Wanting to design a vehicle that was an entertaining drive but also retained the stability of a car, a three-wheel layout was chosen. The design, with two wheels at the front and a single wheel at the rear, is quite innovative as the whole body tilts 40-degrees to enhance driving dynamics. The interior can be customized to conform to owner's tastes. Drive-by-wire technology keeps the design simple, minimizing visibility of functional components. Aleksandra won the Best Use of Design and Engineering award for her concept presented by Assystem, one of the exhibition sponsors.
The Trioba is a 2+1 high-performance electric vehicle, whose final three letters in its name stand for 'Organic Biomorphic Assymetric'. Having conducted in-depth research in trend reports, three-passenger sustainable design appears to be the direction that designers are heading. "There is so much potential in the market" says Shashwath, "and my research indicates that this is the optimum seating arrangement." As the name states, the assymetrical design includes a well thought out front end design incorporating a spare wheel under the hood and a butterfly door opening larger on the passenger side, which provides easier ingress and egress for occupants. A hybrid drivetrain resides at the rear, with large vents for cooling the battery packs.
The Ekon is a vehicle intended for the younger generation of buyers who crave the latest technology and are accustomed to interactivity on the web. Inspired by organic shapes and influenced by the iPhone, the car features a communicative interface, which effectively uses the bodyshell as a screen both front and rear. This technology allows communication between vehicles through graphic animations displayed on the car. Inside, the driver is able to send messages through a tactile pad located at the center of the steering wheel. Passengers are able to play music and games, watch movies or surf the net through a second interface located in the center console, with a third screen located on the dashboard.
Boeing Desert Wind
This proposal is for a car the UAE in 2057, incorporating ecranoplane technology. Inspired by airplane design and technology, the concept uses ground effects to skim across various surfaces; from sand to snow and water. The concept, made of carbon fiber and titanium, harnesses the sun's energy via solar panels and stores it in the battery, which powers an air compressor. This compressor in turn sends air to the areas that need it, with each wheel having its own motor inside it along with the propellers at the back. The air flow can be altered to conduct air under the vehicle and also inflate the wings to distort their proportions to add downforce or lift. The canopy is devoid of visual obstructions and has suspended seats to impart a waft-like travel experience. Like the exterior, the interior was influenced by mobius strips - a continual peice of paper that is twisted and then resealed -creating a continous stucture that wras around the vehicle.
This Power Line Repair Vehicle was conceived to solve the problem of power blackouts created by storms. Rickard was accustomed to seeing the crippling effects of weather in the Swedish climate, so he created a practical vehicle. Entry into the cabin is enabled by using the fold down bull bar as a step through the front, and the cabin also doubles as a lift to elevate the operator to affected areas. Running on a hybrid powertrain, the wheels can be reshaped to caterpillar tracks to facilitate traction off-road.
The Honda Bullet is based on a shotgun cocking system. As Humphreys explained: the difficulty he experienced while trying to enter his low-slung sports car at car parks needed to be addressed. He found that a solution could be found to improve ingress and egress without the door mechanism impeding access. His solution therefore is a door which slides back over the vehicle, incorporating the roof in its movement. Roughly the size of a Ford Mondeo at 4.65 meters long the concept could source power from a multitude of sources. The powerplant can be cooled through the massive air inlets at the rear.
Ji Hun Lee
This is a vehicle designed for use at outdoor French markets. Inspired by Ikea's ‘Trendy Tent', asymettrical door openings enhance the use of the vehicle by traders in crowded marketplaces. With a diesel engine in front and hub-mounted electric motors at the rear, the concept is roughly the size of a Renault Trafic van, with a 3.3 meter long wheelbase and a 4950mm overall length.
By Eric Gallina