Saturday, November 17, 2007

In Year 2057

You know things change. We can resist or embrace change, avoid it or seek it out, inspire, initiate or briefly suppress it. But we can not stop it. Instead, what we need is strategies for responding intelligently and calmly to an evolving professional world.
Every industry has its own classification for the customers according to its needs. I like the automotive industry's breakdown because it is simple, initiative and familiar to just about everyone. Maybe you are a believer that ''a car is a car''. Like an old car, an old idea can eventually become unfit for use;)

On the other hand, the ''look-at-me'' driver wants a vehicle that's new and stylish, as costly and exotic as the budget allows. Lets remember, change is a fact of life, unpredictable in detail but a positive duty in our life.

I've always loved cars, and love working on them. The automotive market is one of the most strategic and rapidly growing segments. It offers a unique environment that fosters individual growth and rewards performance. While building my career, I mostly worked in automotive engineering, manufacturing, sales, marketing, finance, strategical planning and business management. Far more than a career move, but I have so much passion for excellence and dedication of the product(=car) when working in the automotive industry. Being the experienced one, I got the advantages that come with working for the most respected ones -such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Isuzu, Mazda Motor-. So I feel myself lucky and it really excites me knowing that there's always a development that's left other people baffled.

Just start thinking for a second... are you able to imagine today's vehicles in 50 years might be able to move in any direction, drive and navigate robotically, and have structures that morph and adapt to passenger's needs? How robotics and artifical intelligence will transform in 2057?

The LA Auto Show, which kicks off in mid-November, was holding its fourth annual Design Challenge. This year, it asked leading manufacturers above question to create a concept for a ''Robocar of 2057''.

Futuristic eight automotive designs including Audi, GM, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen created their concepts on the adventurous theme of RoboCar of 2057 at design studios based in Southern California, thinking what you'll be driving by then.

The designers' concepts are predicting how the rapidly advancing field of artifical intelligence will integrate into the automobile to make life safer, more convenient and more attractive to consumers 50 years from now.

The Los Angeles region, as all automotive-lovers know very well, is home to the world's largest concentration of manufacturer design studios. Hence, LA Auto Show is a natural place for car designers gather. Every year in october it's the time for the fourth year running of crazy LA Design Challenge and makes me really impatient one to see those mad machines:) Although I'd like very much to be there in person, this time I am close to only on my pc screen;)

Now you can see how those toys will captive your imagination and a question of how artificial intelligence will evolve in the service of humanity. You are warned at once, as they are indeed fascinating and provoking! Are you ready to get a broad array of creative ideas? The entries in their words include as follows:

AUDI: The Audi Virtuea Quattro is a hydrogen-powered vehicle with artificial intelligence and a holographic exterior so that people can customize and change their car's look without environmental impact.

GM: Ant car of 2057 on the actual insect. It considers the ant ''nature's best commuter'' because as a team, ants do well at coordinating traffic. The GM-Onstar ANT features vehicle-to-vehicle communication to optimize traffic flow along with omni-directional propulsion by three independent Nanorb wheel systems.

HONDA: ''One to the power of Four'' is a solar-hybrid powered robotic commuter that uses a combination of artificial intelligence and molecular engineering to allow it to transform into four types of vehicles depending on its owner's needs at any given moment.

MAZDA: Named its car of the future after the real Japanese warrior Mori Motonari. Like the samurai armor of old, the Motonari RX is meant to become one with its owner. Four wheels with 360-degree movement are controlled by the driver through a suit that functions as the controller. ''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 ensuring efficient energy transfer to the in-wheel electrostatic nanomotors'' according to Mazda.

MERCEDES-BENZ: The concept is all tomorrow. The silverflow utilizes micro-metallic particles that can be arranged via magnetic fields in many different forms based on pre-selected models and then be completely dissembled into a pool of ferromagnetic material.

NISSAN: The Nissan One-One whose name sounds like the Japanese word for a cute barking dog. It's meant to be a pet as well as a mode of transportation. Going on the theory that robots will become a ''helpful member of the family'', the One-One will not only drive you to the grocery store, but will also do the grocery shopping. Guided by a real-time GPS network with a skating motion similiar to roller blading, and acts as both transportation and personal assistant with the ability to run errands or take children safely to school. It also adopts from performance car to city car by lying down for speed or standing up for better visibility. Hopefully it doesn't roll over;)

TOYOTA: Went with the theory that we are simply going to run out of highway space and will need to move on a multilevel system in order to accommodate our driving population in the future. The Biomobile Mecha can extract pollutants in the air and utilize it as an energy source. Nanotechnology also enables the structure of the vehicle to expand and contract horizontally and vertically for multiple uses.

VOLKSWAGEN: The Slipstream adapts for city and freeway driving. These two-wheeled, teardrop shaped pods travel in an upright orientation that occupies one-fifth the size of a traditional vehicle and when on the freeway, tilts horizontally to be more aerodynamic.

The winner of the LA Auto Show's 2007 Design Challenge is the Volkswagen Concept Slipstream, as seen above. Besides its ''unique'' styling, because of the integration of highway and city driving, its level of innovation and technology.

A deepnote, last year the Hummer 02 won, and in 2005 the GMC PAD took home the glory and trophy.

As for the designers, it's a strong venue to showcase their talents and further explore new ideas in automotive design. As I'm fascinated with flying car concepts, I find no any design about it on this challenge. I am just disappointed;) It seems like an automotive future without a flying car in 2057? Do you think it will be possible?

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