The Royal College of Art vehicle designers were showing off their degree projects this week eager to explain the thinking behind their concepts.
Following on from last year, the demise of the steering wheel continues as most of the concepts looked to the autonomous ‘driving’ future.
The devil makes work for idle hands …… so what are we going to be doing as we recline in our vehicle.
Well, everything from looking after our new born baby to the wellbeing of our mental health. At this time reflecting on the evening, there was a positive message coming from the designers – very specific ideas, in-depth research and with an optimistic view for the vehicle’s future and its role in society.
For the Drive design team the talking point was Ken Zheng’s striking concept, not because of the type of vehicle, but the bold statement created through controlled lines and complex surfaces that appear deceptively simple.
If you have time get along to see the show, as well as the other course work – it is certainly worth a visit.
RCA is open to the public from June 23rd to 2nd July.
Drive were invited to attend the National Transport Design Centre opening ceremony, with a private viewing of the Coventry Automotive Design Degree Show being arranged before the event.
At the degree show the quality of the student’s design work was very high, with the diverse range of transportation projects catching the eye. I truly believe that the quality level overall was the best in recent years and a tribute to the designer’s hard work and the course tutors’ support.
The limited time available to view and be able to talk with the students before being transported to the NTDC, means a return visit will be required to fully appreciate everyone’s efforts. For those we didn’t get the chance to speak to on the night I apologise.
Meanwhile on the other side, as the day entered the twilight zone, Jaguar’s Ian Callum and Jodie Kidd cut the ribbon to officially launch the National Transport Design Centre – NTDC. The vision of the facility is to be recognised as a world leader in understanding the factors which influence transport design. Quite an ambition, but with the centre’s facilities and attendees from industry that included, Martin Darbyshire of Tangerine, Geely’s Guy Burgoyne, Pratap Bose and Martin Ulharik from TATA and Anthony Kenny-Williams from SAIC amongst others all making the right noises, hopefully an achievable one.
I would like to thank everyone involved in the event for inviting us and making the evening such a success.
Aeronautical engineer-turned-artist Brendan Walker the creator of VR Playground, involved Drive in the building of the environments that he then programmed into a virtual reality experience. You put on a virtual reality headset and start to swing, the motion detection matches your inputs and you are transported through the virtual world.
Walker, is one of the worlds created in his VR Playground which you can currently experience at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
The diversity of the public enjoying the experience shows the empowerment of Virtual Reality technology.
“The worlds I have created are going to challenge your body and mind,” commented thrill engineer Brendan Walker.
Brendan has taken the forces of the swing and re-engineered or reverse-engineered them create four new virtual worlds where you believe that your body is doing four very different things other than swinging. As a spectator you will think people are just on an ordinary swing but the experiences for people include bouncing like a shuttlecock across buildings, feeling like you are inside a giant wheel rolling through the street and propelling yourself like a jellyfish undulating upwards in the water.
This has been a fascinating project to be involved with. Drive are building on this experience, and hoping to take some of the learning and applying it to the automotive and transportation industries
Brendan Walker – http://www.aerial.fm
Ripley Soapbox Challenge will be held on the 5th August 2017 in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Meeting at Ripley Court Meadows, the event will see local businesses and residents propel their machines around the purpose built track.
With a number of confirmed entries and the local scouts providing 5 ready to race chassis, it should be a fun packed event.
Come back to see how the drive challenger progresses.
For more information please go to the official Facebook Page
1pm Saturday 5th August 2017 – Ripley Court Meadows
Coventry University held a ‘Future of Transport Design Debate’ at their Simulation Centre on the Coventry University Technology Park. This annual debate was taking a light-hearted but serious look at issues which will influence transport design in the future.
The debate was chaired by Steve Cropley, Editor in Chief of Autocar at Haymarket Media Group, with an expert panel of Andrew Everett, Chief Strategy Officer at the Transport Systems Catapult, David Hilton, Senior Design Director at NextEV, Dr Cyriel Diels, Human Factors Researcher at Coventry University and Dr George Gillespie OBE, CEO of Horiba MIRA.
This year the event concentrated on electric and autonomous vehicles, with the need for greater integration requiring the topics to touch on areas such as rail and freight. A huge subject to try and cover, but the discussion was moved along expertly by Steve Copley, through the death of ‘Car Culture’ as we know it, the car’s current status likened to that of the horse in the early 1900s and how do Local Authorities influence the debate?.
The audience came from engineering and design consultancies, OEM’s, research institutions and govermental departments and although everyone could see both opportunities and challenges through the speed of development of current technology, the over whelming feeling for the future was one of excitement in finding and designing solutions.
The event also gave attendees the chance to view ‘virtually’ The National Transport Design Centre (NTDC) whose construction has already started on Coventry University’s Technology Park. The centre is being funded through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the government’s multimillion pound Local Growth Deal, with an initial £7 million contribution.
State-of-the-art features of the NTDC, which forms a key facility for the University’s existing Centre for Mobility and Transport, include:
• a 6m interactive power wall which allows users to explore detailed design and engineering concepts in virtual reality;
• advanced clay milling facilities for creating physical models of vehicles;
• a projection mapping system which can cast digital images onto 3D objects below, helping designers to assess how multiple options would appear on full-scale models.
The centre is set to address many of the Automotive Council report’s recommendations, with key areas of focus including undergraduate and postgraduate education in transport design, research projects in collaboration with industry, and support for the UK’s high-value manufacturing sector and its supply chain to improve design capability.