For the last 3 years, the LA Auto Show Design Challenge has attracted amazing concepts from every major auto manufacturer, 2007 was no different. It gives designers a chance to present their visions without engineering or cost constraints. See if you agree with the judges number 1 pick.
The theme for this year was “Robocar 2057” It brought in a total of 8 designs from different manufacturers. They were told to base the designs on environmentally friendly vehicles that would help to solve the problems with congestion in heavily populated areas.
Audi Virtuea Quattro
Audi's design was for a single-seater Hydrogen Powered "pod." The most unique feature is the holographic exterior that is capable of being customized at any time by the driver. It can manipulate hundreds of colors and patterns to create unlimited combinations. The concept vehicle was created out of the Volkswagen/Audi Design Center in California.
GM OnStart ANT
GM's idea was all about adaptability and safety. The ANT will be capable of sensing traffic conditions up to 3Km away and responding accordingly. The movement will be provided from a "Nanorb" wheel system, which is basically 3 omni-directional wheels. They will be able to move the ANT in any direction at will.
Mazda MotoNari RX
Mazda not only designed a concept, they did it with a fashion statement included in the MSRP. When/If you get the chance to buy one of these, you will be given a special suit that will help you to "feel" the road. It uses millions of tiny actuators that will ultimately provide electric stimulation to different muscles depending on road conditions. Just hope you never get into a high-speed collision.
Honda Power Four
The only way to carpool while still having privacy. The Power Four is essentially 4 separate cars in one. They link together till you are close to your final destination, at which time they can break off one by one to reach you desired destination.
A very unique dent-resistant design concept from Mercedes. The exterior is one magnetic assembly that can be reshaped at the click of a button either on your key FOB or inside the car. Mercedes also solved the parking problem by giving the SilverFlow the ability to "melt" into a pool of liquid metal which will save space and walking distance.
The ultimate pet/vehicle combo. Movement is created by using synthetic "muscles" to move its legs which will create a skating motion. As speed is increased, the vehicle hunkers down to reduce drag. When moving slower the OneOne uses a higher stance to reduce space and make maneuvering easier. According to Nissan, it is lovingly referred to as a "Family Pet."
Toyota Biomobile MECHA
Taking a slightly different stance on the emissions problem, Toyota decided to make the MECHA run on pollution. The vehicle is also able to move in any direction due to nano-laser wheels. Nano-technology is also in place to make the car expand and contract depending on the needs of the driver, which even encompasses providing sleeping quarters.
And the Winner : Volkswagen SlipStream
The winner of the Design Challenge the SlipStream is a solar-powered "pod" that has to different driving configurations. While driving in the city, the car is upright to save space and make cornering a dream. When you hit the freeway, it lays down to reduce its drag area. It is designed to hit speeds in excess of 250mph, all while you just lay back and enjoy the ride.
Some amazing and very creative concepts that are more likely to be seen in the next installment of Halo. From cars that can melt to ones that can shape-shift,, the automotive designers really let their imaginations soar, which was the point of the Challenge. And even though they seem far fetched now, what would a caveman say if you tried to explain indoor plumbing to them?
Provided By : MotorAuthority