Since the end of the 19th century, when cars were first invented, automotive engineers have been pushing to take the risks out of driving. Inventions such as seat belts and airbags have helped. But one of the most revolutionary advances in crash-proofing might be to remove the driver altogether, with autonomous vehicles, such as the ones currently being developed by Google.
If the cars aren’t prone to human error, because they’ve been programmed to sense when they’re getting too close to one another or going too fast into a turn, road fatalities might be as bygone as the Ford Model T.
If that proves to be true, then the shape and look of a car can radically change – at least that’s the hope of British designer Dominic Wilcox. At the London Design Festival last month, he unveiled a prototype for an autonomous car that is so optimistic about its own potential for safety that its shell is made from delicate stained glass and its interior repurposed into a rest and relaxation zone – bed included.
“Extrapolating from where we are now, the cars should be super safe. There might even be roadways that only have driverless cars,” Wilcox says. That will allow the designs to securely accommodate us “when we are at our most vulnerable, when we are asleep.”
Wilcox, who is known for thought-provoking design ideas – including GPS-enabled brogues – doesn’t anticipate that the design will be implemented until 2059. “The technology is moving along rapidly,” he says. “But it has to prove itself to be safe and reliable first.” When it’s ready, the Royal College of Art graduate is also anticipating that our tech-laden lives will make us crave something, ironically, old-fashioned.
“Technology tends to be slick and polished,” he says. “In the future, I think things that are handmade will become more relevant. Specifically because handmade things aren’t perfect. They have a character that can’t be replicated by machines, which make everything too perfect.”
Hence his car design. It’s called the Mini Cathedral, in part because it was sponsored by Mini, and in part because the look takes after the windows of Durham Cathedral, in Northern England, where Wilcox was raised (he is now based in London).
The glass was all hand-cut and soldered onto a wooden frame. The panes were then attached to a metal Mini chassis that would hold the car’s engine and sensors. By blending the very old with the not-yet-realizable, it doesn’t feel like a confused throwback or some kind of strange pastiche – it all seems new and exciting.
Not that all the autonomous cars of the future will be sleepers. In addition to a future where people no longer drive themselves, Wilcox envisions a future where we no longer own cars at all. Instead, we’ll order up rides from elaborate, roving ride-share programs. Maybe we’ll need a single-person bed-car one day, then the next we might require a six-seater with a Jacuzzi or a kitchenette or a small boardroom. A visitor to the London Design Festival even suggested that Wilcox consider autonomous kennels to ferry around dogs. Of course, much can happen between now and 2059, and Wilcox acknowledges that his proposal is less about making something saleable and more about “demonstrating the potential of a system.”
That said, there’s something infectiously optimistic about it. Who wouldn’t want to rest up in a mobile, meditative, handmade jewel box that would feel as dreamlike inside as a Chagall painting?
Design themes in the automotive industry tend to ebb and flow in trends: jelly bean styling, retro design, flame surfacing… we could go on (and probably would if we were better schooled in the language of design), but you get the point. So what’s the next big thing in automotive design? Layers.
No, not the “levels” Kramer ranted about when remodeling his apartment on Seinfeld, but layers. It’s about adding a three-dimensionality to a vehicle’s surface, exposing some of the elements underneath and making room for active aerodynamic components. It’s something that BMW has championed with the i8 and which McLaren embodied as well with the P1. Its rival LaFerrari adopts the approach too, as have a handful of concepts like the Toyota FT-1, Aston Martin DP-100 and (maybe to a lesser extent) the Maserati Alfieri.
Considering the lust-worthy dream machines where the trend has kicked off, we should only expect layered design to further permeate the industry, trickling down to vehicles more people can actually afford… and not just six- and seven-figure hybrid hypercars.
The Mid-Michigan AIChE Section is sponsoring the Chem-E-Car seminar at Michigan State University by Jacob Anibal and Carl Herman, at the Grand Traverse Pie Company, 2600 North Saginaw Road, Midland, from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday.
Each year, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) sponsors the national Chem-E-Car competition between the collegiate AIChE chapters. Teams design and build small, chemical-powered cars to carry a water load over a given distance. The teams then compete against each other at the spring AIChE regional conferences, using a load and distance specified at the competition site. Accuracy in the distance traveled determines the winner, with the best cars stopping within a few centimeters.
This seminar covers the basics of the Chem-E-Car competition and design process, along with an opportunity to see a Chem-E-Car.
Jacob Anibal is a junior at Michigan State University. This year marks his second as the Chem-E-Car team captain. Anibal also works as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Scott Calabrese Barton’s electrochemical energy research group, researching oxygen reduction catalysts for fuel cell applications. Prior to this position, Anibal conducted thermodynamics research for four semesters as a professorial assistant under Dr. Carl Lira.
Carl Herman has been a part of the Chem-E-Car design team for two years. Last year, his focus was on calibrating a “clock reaction,” which served to stop the car. This summer he worked for Baker Hughes Inc. as a RD intern, working on the monitoring of sour corrosion using electrochemical techniques. He wants to use these insights to further refine battery designs used in Chem-E-Car. He is currently employed by The Dow Chemical Co. as a co-op.
This meeting is free and open to the public. Light snacks will be available while they last beginning at 6 p.m.
The lecture qualifies for one professional development hour. PDH certificates will be provided to interested attendees. For more information, contact Bruce Holden (989) 636-5225) or visit www.mmaiche.org/.
Riversimple, a Powys-based start-up developing a road-going hydrogen fuel cell powered car is carrying out some of its design in the cloud and has adopted Cadonix cloud-based automotive harness CAD tools.
“We’re designing a radically new car – which will be in market trials late next year. It emits nothing but a tiny amount of water and will do more than the equivalent of 200mpg,” said David Rothera, vehicle electronic engineer at Riversimple.
The firm is developing a two-seater local network electric car, powered by hydrogen fuel cells and with a body made from composite materials.
RD is led out of Wales by an engineering team drawn from top automotive, aerospace and motor racing; design is led by Chris Reitz, former design chief for the Fiat 500, with his team at their studio in Barcelona.
The team is aiming for fuel efficiency of more than 200mpg, a range of 300 miles, 0-30mph in 5.5 seconds, and a cruising speed of 55 mph.
The demanding electrical design parameters imposed by the use of the crucial lightweight composite body called for closer integration between the circuit design and the electrical harness tools.
“Cloud based design is new for us,” said Rothera, “but even at this early stage we’ve come to appreciate the flexibility of being able to access the design from anywhere. Arcadia is a flexible and intuitive tool, which will be fully able to address the need to include a return path, and other issues specific to the design of this unusual vehicle.”
The Arcadia CAD tool offering schematic design, animated circuit simulation and analysis, electrical networking, harness design and full design rule checking for wire harness layout and manufacture. It interfaces with 3D MCAD and enterprise wide PLM and ERP tools for project management.
While recently tuning up his Nissan Skyline GTR sports car, an auto enthusiast decided to forgo a traditional paint job. Instead, he asked his incredibly talented wife if she wouldn’t mind doodling on the vehicle with a sharpie.
The car enthusiast, a member of the U.S. Military, hated the car’s silver color, and wanted to do something unique. He started by allowing his wife to draw on a few scratches that were already on his car’s bumper.
When the man saw his wife’s work, he realized that her elegant drawings deserved a bigger platform, so he allowed her to color in the entire car, while he worked on revamping it from the inside.
His wife spent more than 100 hours sketching on the car, and then they added several layers of clear coat so the sharpie design would not rub off or wash away in the rain.
Here is the final product in all of its amazing glory.
And here is the Nissan Skyline GTR with its full sharpie design and clear coat:
A customized paint job like this would cost thousands upon thousands of dollars at a professional shop, and to be honest the results might not be this good. This artist really is crazy talented with a sharpie.
This article originally appeared on Give It Love and has been republished with permission.
Find out how to syndicate your content with Business 2 Community.
Imagine a future where driverless cars are not only the norm but could double up as a bedroom, a one-man office or even a mini cocktail bar.
Well, Sunderland-born Dominic Wilcox has not only came up with the vision but he’s created it – in the form of this strikingly colourful Mini-Cathedral car.
His tantalising vision of the future, taking the idea of driverless cars to the extreme, is inspired by the mighty Durham Cathedral and the Mini – the kind his auntie used to drive.
“My aunt Angela always drove an original classic mini around the streets of Sunderland,” says the 39-year-old, whose stained glass-topped vehicle opens up to reveal a full-size bed.
But it could just as easily house a work station, points out Dominic.
Driverless vehicles, currently being developed by the likes of Google, would see robotic cars which were able to guide and drive themselves – ‘talking’ electronically to other vehicles to avoid crashes.
And Dominic, who already has a whole host of quirky inventions to his name including GPS shoes to guide the wearer in the right direction, was one of six cutting-edge young designers commissioned by the Dezeen and Mini Frontiers exhibition – a collaboration between the design website and car manufacturer – to create their vision for the future of mobility.
The car’s unveiling at the exhibition as part of this year’s London Design Festival caused a huge stir.
“People don’t expect to see cars made of glass. At the exhibition people came over as it looked interesting then realised it had wheels and was some sort of vehicle. Then I lifted up the shell and showed them the bed – they probably weren’t expecting that!
“There’s been a lot of discussion on the subject which is one of the reasons for doing it, to spark people’s imaginations to go and think of ideas themselves.”
We could be soon seeing his futuristic car first-hand as Dominic, a former pupil of St Aidan’s in Sunderland now living in London, is in talks about exhibiting it in Newcastle next month.
Of its design, he says: “I’ve always liked the original Mini and the windows of my car are taken from it.
“Then when I visited family and we went to Durham Cathedral I looked at the windows there and thought they looked really wonderful and wouldn’t it be interesting to bring that stained glass into a more contemporary object.
“You don’t really see stained glass in modern designs and it was also the idea of turning it into a 3D object rather than flat.”
It took about nine weeks to build after just a five-day stained glass course.
Dominic says driverless cars would be ideal for elderly stuck at home or those with disabilities but his imagined future for 2059 – 100 years after the launch of the first Mini, – pushes the extremes of what is already possible.
“I know Google are taking employees around their facilities in a driverless car and they can be doing work while it takes them where they want to go, and they are already being tested in America on public roads.
“I’m proposing that in 2059 driverless cars will be commonplace.
“In the future there will be a motorway which only driverless cars will be allowed to use so there will be no collisions, no human drivers going crazy, and if the cars are super-safe then car designers don’t have to worry about all the safety equipment such as air bags and crumple zones.
“People don’t need own cars. Instead they can order a robot taxi and a size: a single, double or one for four or six people then they can choose the interior – a desk if they want to do work, a play room with games, a jacuzzi … anything is possible.”
Dominic, who did an art and design foundation course in Sunderland then went to Edinburgh College of Art followed by the Royal College of Art in London, has a book out, Variations on Normal, full of sketches of his often madcap inventions, guaranteed to make people both laugh and think.
“What I like about sketches is that it’s the shortest distance between my imagination and your imagination,” he added.
the exhibition ‘phantasm on wheels’ by nikola kolja božović presents the results of the serbian artist’s own research into various aspects of the car as both a physical vessel, and a carrier of cultural and social significance. on the occasion of belgrade design week 2014, božović has displayed a series of manipulated machinery sourced from automobile segments, acting as a metaphor for fetish, fantasy, obsession and status.
in addition to sculptural objects created through the transformation of disused vehicular parts, božović’s spatial installation for the gallery space of the BDW dizajnpark exhibitions within the old staklopan factory suspends the viewer in a fictional world of personal phantasm, seemingly with phallic undertones. designboom spoke with the artist about the metaphorical context latent within automobiles, in what ways he sources these unconventionally artistic, yet ubiquitous materials, and his own notions regarding the bridge between art and design.
designboom interviews serbian artist nikola kolja božov at belgrade design week 2014
for božović, a car is not just a machine — it represents capitalism, consumerism, creativity and cultural obsession. the gallery space becomes a field for reinterpreted shapes, reconstructed from the built creations that make up our environment. with these irregular-formed geometries and ‘exploded’ segments of cars, the artist consciously changes the established direction and connotations of the physical world around us.
the artist begins his work with the disassembly and reconstruction of distinguished vehicle parts from various manufacturers, which than are physically transformed by replacing their social role with an aesthetic one. božović’s intention is to personify the parts, giving them human features: headlights look like eyes, a cooler resembles a mouth, a carburetor could be internal organs, fuel is blood and the body is like a skeleton. the emerging transfiguration of objects symbolize the present situation and rituals derived from societal relationships; in turn, he implies that fetishes, fashion trends and collections of art — for example — can of often become a replacement for the physical and emotional relationships sustained between people.
božović’s distinct union of pop art and automotive fetish is reflected in the materials used: the surface of the sculptures is made of sheet metal, putty and plastics, is painted using colored car lacquer, and finally mirror-polished. after the physical transformation of structure and shape, each object becomes a composition in itself. the artist uses fiats and other various four-wheelers as the starting point for generating a surreal interpretation of an object used in everyday life.
2014 marks the ninth edition of belgrade design week, an annual, internationally-renowned festival for creative industries and modern business in serbia and throughout the south east european area. since 2005, founder jovan jelovac has successfully forged multicultural connections between artists, designers and entrepreneurs from the region with the greater global design scene. the initiative serves as a platform for creatives to engage in the exchange of ideas across a range of disciplines — advertising, architecture, arts management, communications, design, fashion, marketing, new media and publishing — delivering approximately 30 international speakers who share their perspectives and personal developments in their respective fields.
this year’s conference program ‘brand new world’ sets opens up discussion regarding the creation of new values in today’s fast changing world. on the occasion of this edition, president of the republic of serbia, tomislav nikolic opened the initiative, stressing the importance of the creative industries for the continued development of the country’s economy. local designers stand side by side with some the world’s greatest talents in a rare opportunity to bring the world to belgrade and to present belgrade to the world. find out more about the program, selection of keynote speakers and exhibition sites on designboom, here.
One day, in the not-too-distant future, you’ll be able to walk into a car dealership, choose a design — including the number of seats — and have a 3D printed car by the end of the day.
This is Jay Rogers’ vision. Rogers is the CEO of Local Motors, the company that just built the world’s first 3D printed car known as the Strati. The electric, pint-sized two-seater was officially unveiled last week at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, Illinois.
“Telsa made the electric drive train famous, we’re changing the whole car,” Rogers told Mashable, clearly still relishing his community-based design and his company’s moment in the 3D manufacturing sun.
According to Ford Motors, most cars have somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 parts. The Strati has just 49, including its 3D printed body (the largest part), plus more traditional components like the motor, wheels, seats and windshield. While many 3D printed car models exist, there haven’t been any other drivable ones that we could find.
Strati’s 3D-printed body. IMAGE: LOCAL MOTORS
The original design for Strati, which means “layers” in Italian, did not bubble up directly from Local Motors. Rather, the company — similar to the inventions company Quirky — encourages members to share vehicle design ideas, which the community then works to perfect and productize. The finished products are then sold online and in retail stores by Local Motors.
Local Motors launched a project 18 months ago that sought to simplify the car design and manufacturing process through Direct Digital Manufacturing. When it put out the call for workable 3D printed car designs, it received more than 200 submissions, ultimately choosing a design by Michele Anoe, who is based in Italy.
Rogers said Anoe’s design stood out because it fit perfectly with Local Motors’ desired production technique, combining 3D printing and a subtractive machining.
Yet even with the design in hand, Local Motors spent the better part of a year finding a company that could print the first car. The eventual production partner, Oak Ridge Labs, found a company with the base of a large laser printer, which they retrofitted with a 3D extruder. The second half of the 3D production process took place in a separate Cincinnati manufacturing routing machine, which refined the overall look of the car.
Printing the car took roughly 44 hours, and milling it to perfection took another full day. Local Motors then built the Strati over the course of four days at the IMTS.
“We probably could have done it in two days or less,” Rogers said — but they stretched it out for the show.
Printed in carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic or ABS, the finished Strati can drive at speeds up to 40 mph and can travel 120 miles on a single charge. It’s fine for a neighborhood jaunt, but is not yet allowed on highways. Rogers said there are plans to test the car extensively before selling it to customers or putting it on the freeway.
The Local Motors team builds the Strati 3D printed car. IMAGE: LOCAL MOTORS
Auto manufacturers like Ford have been using 3D printing techniques for decades, but according to a company spokesperson, currently only uses the process for prototyping. (So far, there haven’t been any 3D printed parts in Ford vehicles.) Thus, the concept of building a vehicle almost entirely through the 3D printing process is likely intriguing to traditional car makers like Ford.
Although the Strati is just as expensive as a full-sized sedan, Rogers does not envision it as a luxury item. Instead, he believes it will be an affordable and highly customizable option that could be widely available by 2016 for between $18,000 and $34,000.
“It will be positioned like a car for the masses, or many different cars for the masses,” Rogers said.
MILTON KEYES — October 15, 2014: Audi is preparing to enter a new era of design – at the Los Angeles Auto
Show, which begins on November 19, the brand with the four rings will
present the first show car to bear the signature of its new Head of Design
For 45 year old Lichte, who was appointed Head of Audi Design in
February 2014, the core competences of the brand – sportiness,
lightweight design and quattro drive – all have a high level of
importance. In a new and highly emotional design idiom, Marc Lichte
communicates the technical competence and uncompromising product quality of
the Audi brand – vehicle design is becoming an even stronger
expression of progressive technology.
The concept car at the Los Angeles Auto Show marks a new beginning in
Audi Design – both exterior and interior.
Marc Lichte was born on August 9, 1969 in Arnsberg in the Sauerland
region of Germany. He began his professional career at Volkswagen AG in
1996 while still a student at Pforzheim University studying transportation
After joining the company, he worked as an exterior designer before
being appointed Head of the Exterior Design Studio in 2006. At Volkswagen,
Marc Lichte worked on production models that included the Golf 5, 6 and 7,
the Passat 6, 7 and 8, the Touareg and the Phaeton.
An Audi concept car set for the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show showcases a new beginning for Audi design.
| October 15, 2014
| Audi of America
Just the Facts:
Audi will unveil a concept car at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show that previews a new design direction for the German brand.
A new emphasis will be put on “sportiness” and “lightweight design,” according to Audi.
“Vehicle design is becoming an even stronger expression of progressive technology,” Audi said.
INGOLSTADT, Germany —Audi will unveil a concept car at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show that previews a new design direction for the German brand, the company said on Tuesday.
A new emphasis will be put on “sportiness” and “lightweight design,” according to Audi.
“Vehicle design is becoming an even stronger expression of progressive technology,” Audi said.
Audi confirmed few details about the concept car, except to say it “marks a new beginning in Audi Design — both exterior and interior.”
An overhead teaser photo of the concept car triggered widespread media speculation that this is a new flagship model — perhaps a four-door coupe — that may slot in above the Audi A8 sedan.
The unnamed concept car is the work of Marc Lichte, the new head of Audi design who is a former senior Volkswagen designer. He worked on several of the most important VW vehicles in the past decade. They include versions of the Volkswagen Golf, Passat, Touareg and Phaeton.
Edmunds says: This concept car is not just a fantasy vehicle. It will have major implications for car shoppers who are seeking the best in German automotive design.
Boston GlobeFour Blackwater guards found guilty in 2007 shootingsBoston GlobeWASHINGTON — A federal jury on Wednesday convicted four Blackwater Worldwide guards in the fatal shooting of 14 unarmed Iraqis, seven years after the American security contractors fired machine guns and grenades into a Baghdad traffic circle in one of ...Blackwater contractors convi […]
ReutersCanada PM vows crackdown after capital shocked by fatal attacksReutersOTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to redouble the country's fight against "terrorist organizations" abroad after a reported convert to Islam rampaged through parliament, shocking the usually tranquil capital city. Shortly after a ...Canad […]
The News InternationalEight Pakistani Shi'ites killed in sectarian attackReutersQUETTA Pakistan (Reuters) - Eight Shi'ite members of Pakistan's ethnic Hazara minority were killed and one wounded on Thursday, when gunmen opened fire on a bus in the volatile province of Baluchistan, police said. No one immediately claimed ...Pakistan attack kill […]
CBS NewsUS-led air strikes killed 553 people in Syria, 32 civilians: monitorReutersBEIRUT (Reuters) - Air strikes by U.S.-led forces have killed 553 people, including 32 civilians, during a month-long campaign in Syria against Islamic State militants, a Syrian monitoring group which tracks the violence said on Thursday. The Britain-based ...Syria says shoots […]
Telegraph.co.ukAnother black day for Reeva Steenkamp and all womenTelegraph.co.ukSo now at least we know. We know what a woman's life is worth. The trial of Oscar Pistorius has been on our TV screens for six months, during which time the Olympic hero, between fits of amateur histrionics, tried to claim that he suffered from “generalised ...South Africa: […]
Voice of AmericaFollowing Chinese Outcry, Kenny G Distances Self from Hong Kong ProtestersVoice of AmericaU.S. jazz musician Kenny G is playing down his visit to Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests, saying he did not intend to show support for the demonstrators. The saxophonist on Wednesday stopped by the protest site in the semiautonomous Chinese territ […]
Times of IndiaMexico: Mayor linked to deadly attack on studentsTimes of IndiaMEXICO CITY: Officials said on Wednesday that a drug gang implicated in the disappearance of 43 students in a southern city essentially ran the town, paying the mayor hundreds of thousands of dollars a month out of its profits from making opium paste to ...Mexico mayor charged with […]
Business RecorderMH370 wreckage may wash up on Indonesian coast: Aussie authoritiesXinhuaSYDNEY, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Australian authorities have alerted Indonesia that wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may wash up on its coastline. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is leading the search for the aircraft ...Search for […]
Channel News AsiaN Korea warns South over planned high-level talksChannel News AsiaNorth Korea in a statement warned that high-level talks with the South might have to be scrapped, blaming Seoul for a series of minor military skirmishes on the land and sea border this month. PHOTOS. North Korean soldiers (C) walk past a South Korean ...South Korea Dismantles […]
swissinfo.chAt U.N., China asked to back human rights case against North Koreaswissinfo.chUNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The chief U.N. investigator into human rights cases in North Korea said on Wednesday he has appealed to China to support calls to refer Pyongyang's actions to The Hague on suspicion of crimes against humanity. Western ...and more » […]