We’re getting close to LA auto show time again, which means that, for the fourth year running, it’s time for the crazy LA Design Challenge. The Los Angeles region is home to the world’s largest concentration of manufacturer design studios, so the LA show is a natural place for car designers to gather. This year around 500 of them are expected to meet ahead of the show for the annual Design Los Angeles convention. A group of them will be judging the Design Challenge, which this year asked entrants to come up with designs on the theme of ‘Robocar 2057’. It’s an adventurous theme, and the designs are adventurous in the extreme. We’ve tried to decipher the mad meanings behind these mad machines, but they’re beyond our comprehension. Perhaps it’s best if we just let the entrants describe their entries in their own words…
Audi Virtuea Quattro
Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California. Heather Shaw, Jae Min, Mattijs Van Tuijl, Karl Strahlendorf, Christian SchoenIt’s the year 2057 and Audi continues to revolutionise through technology, offering a hydrogen-powered vehicle that combines artificial intelligence with avenues of self expression. This single-seat, autonomous driving machine 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. 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 now be proudly displayed without environmental impact as no physical materials are needed regardless of size. Audi takes pride in introducing personal transportation that combines passion with intelligence, which not only positively affects the environment but your life as well.
General Motors Advanced Design, California. Frank Saucedo, Steve Anderson, Jussi Timonen, Jose Paris, Lorne Kulesus, Tony Liu, Jay Bernard, Phil TaniokaMuch like the self-regulating traffic system found in nature’s best commuter, the ant, OnStar enabled vehicle-to-vehicle communication and ubiquitously embedded intelligence allow GM’s ANT to act independently yet communicate with other vehicles to optimise 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 body panels are connected with electro-active polymer actuators (aka artificial muscles), allowing the easy and silent reconfiguration of body panels, depending on their optimal street use.