Automotive

SAIC's ant-inspired concept wins LA Auto Show Design Challenge

SAIC's ant-inspired concept wi...
SAIC Motor has taken out the 2013 LA Auto Show Design Challenge with its Mobiliant concept
SAIC Motor has taken out the 2013 LA Auto Show Design Challenge with its Mobiliant concept
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SAIC Motor has taken out the 2013 LA Auto Show Design Challenge with its Mobiliant concept
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SAIC Motor has taken out the 2013 LA Auto Show Design Challenge with its Mobiliant concept
The SAIC Mobiliant
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The SAIC Mobiliant
The Mobiliant is inspired by the body of an ant
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The Mobiliant is inspired by the body of an ant
The design references the symbiotic relationship between ants and trumpet trees
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The design references the symbiotic relationship between ants and trumpet trees
The theme ‘of the challenge was Biomimicry & Mobility 2025 – Nature's Answer to Human Challenges’
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The theme ‘of the challenge was Biomimicry & Mobility 2025 – Nature's Answer to Human Challenges’
SAIC's Mobiliant concept
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SAIC's Mobiliant concept
SAIC's Mobiliant concept
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SAIC's Mobiliant concept
Judges agreed that the Mobiliant's focus on the concept of mutualism set it apart
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Judges agreed that the Mobiliant's focus on the concept of mutualism set it apart
SAIC's Mobiliant concept
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SAIC's Mobiliant concept
SAIC's Mobiliant concept
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SAIC's Mobiliant concept
Like the Mobiliant, the JAC Motors “HEFEI” (Harmonious Eco-Friendly Efficient Infrastructure) takes an "eco-system" approach, with idle vehicles being used to power those on the road through a vast connected power grid optimized for efficiency
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Like the Mobiliant, the JAC Motors “HEFEI” (Harmonious Eco-Friendly Efficient Infrastructure) takes an "eco-system" approach, with idle vehicles being used to power those on the road through a vast connected power grid optimized for efficiency
JAC Motors “HEFEI” (Harmonious Eco-Friendly Efficient Infrastructure) concept
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JAC Motors “HEFEI” (Harmonious Eco-Friendly Efficient Infrastructure) concept
The “LA Subways” entry from BMW Group DesignworksUSA looks to solve LA’s traffic congestion by using the city's forgotten waterways
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The “LA Subways” entry from BMW Group DesignworksUSA looks to solve LA’s traffic congestion by using the city's forgotten waterways
The “LA Subways” entry from BMW Group DesignworksUSA looks to solve LA’s traffic congestion by using the city's forgotten waterways
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The “LA Subways” entry from BMW Group DesignworksUSA looks to solve LA’s traffic congestion by using the city's forgotten waterways
The “LA Subways” entry from BMW Group DesignworksUSA looks to solve LA’s traffic congestion by using the city's forgotten waterways
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The “LA Subways” entry from BMW Group DesignworksUSA looks to solve LA’s traffic congestion by using the city's forgotten waterways
The Toyota “e-grus” is a long distance travel solution inspired by the e-grus crane that features a shape-shifting body and autonomous driving capabilities
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The Toyota “e-grus” is a long distance travel solution inspired by the e-grus crane that features a shape-shifting body and autonomous driving capabilities
Mazda's “AUTO ADAPT” imagines a vehicle that has the ability to adapt from being fully autonomous to a manual machine, giving those who still like to be in control when behind the wheel something to look forward to when self-driving cars rule the roads
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Mazda's “AUTO ADAPT” imagines a vehicle that has the ability to adapt from being fully autonomous to a manual machine, giving those who still like to be in control when behind the wheel something to look forward to when self-driving cars rule the roads
Mazda's “AUTO ADAPT” imagines a vehicle that has the ability to adapt from being fully autonomous to a manual machine
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Mazda's “AUTO ADAPT” imagines a vehicle that has the ability to adapt from being fully autonomous to a manual machine
Mazda's “AUTO ADAPT” imagines a vehicle that has the ability to adapt from being fully autonomous to a manual machine
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Mazda's “AUTO ADAPT” imagines a vehicle that has the ability to adapt from being fully autonomous to a manual machine
Another BMW entry, the “S.E.E.D (Sustainable Efficient Exploratory Device)” was references the maple seed to create a vehicle that could "explore the world’s harshest environments in search for new life forms and inspiration."
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Another BMW entry, the “S.E.E.D (Sustainable Efficient Exploratory Device)” was references the maple seed to create a vehicle that could "explore the world’s harshest environments in search for new life forms and inspiration."
Another BMW entry, the “S.E.E.D (Sustainable Efficient Exploratory Device)” was references the maple seed to create a vehicle that could "explore the world’s harshest environments in search for new life forms and inspiration."
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Another BMW entry, the “S.E.E.D (Sustainable Efficient Exploratory Device)” was references the maple seed to create a vehicle that could "explore the world’s harshest environments in search for new life forms and inspiration."
Another BMW entry, the “S.E.E.D (Sustainable Efficient Exploratory Device)” was references the maple seed to create a vehicle that could "explore the world’s harshest environments in search for new life forms and inspiration."
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Another BMW entry, the “S.E.E.D (Sustainable Efficient Exploratory Device)” was references the maple seed to create a vehicle that could "explore the world’s harshest environments in search for new life forms and inspiration."
Using the silk worm as its inspiration, the Qoros Silk Road System would offer drivers an integrated, accident-free and sustainable transport system
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Using the silk worm as its inspiration, the Qoros Silk Road System would offer drivers an integrated, accident-free and sustainable transport system
Using the silk worm as its inspiration, the Qoros Silk Road System would offer drivers an integrated, accident-free and sustainable transport system
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Using the silk worm as its inspiration, the Qoros Silk Road System would offer drivers an integrated, accident-free and sustainable transport system
Subaru's entry – the “SUBA-ROO”– is described as a "one-legged, self-contained, wearable mobility vehicle with a propulsion method which mimics the efficient yet powerful jumping motions of a kangaroo"
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Subaru's entry – the “SUBA-ROO”– is described as a "one-legged, self-contained, wearable mobility vehicle with a propulsion method which mimics the efficient yet powerful jumping motions of a kangaroo"
Subaru's entry – the “SUBA-ROO”– is described as a "one-legged, self-contained, wearable mobility vehicle with a propulsion method which mimics the efficient yet powerful jumping motions of a kangaroo"
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Subaru's entry – the “SUBA-ROO”– is described as a "one-legged, self-contained, wearable mobility vehicle with a propulsion method which mimics the efficient yet powerful jumping motions of a kangaroo"
The Changfeng Motor Corporation entry for the 2013 LA Auto Show Design Challenge "resembles a grasshopper, capable of running, jumping, climbing, swimming and also the ability to squeeze between narrow openings"
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The Changfeng Motor Corporation entry for the 2013 LA Auto Show Design Challenge "resembles a grasshopper, capable of running, jumping, climbing, swimming and also the ability to squeeze between narrow openings"
The SAIC Mobiliant concept
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The SAIC Mobiliant concept

The 2013 LA Auto Show Design Challenge has been won by SAIC Motor Corp. The Chinese automaker’s “Mobiliant” concept saw off competition from eight other contenders who where challenged to create forward-looking designs under the theme "Biomimicry & Mobility 2025 – Nature's Answer to Human Challenges."

Over the past decade the LA Auto Show Design Challenge has been a forum for an array of thought-provoking and often wildly outlandish concepts, allowing designers to throw off the shackles of practicality and think as far outside the box as their imaginations can carry them. The 2013 event has proved no exception.

This year's Biomimicry & Mobility theme challenged competitors to provide solutions to transportation issues including congestion, pollution, safety and sustainability. Entries were judged on factors such as the creative adaptation of nature's laws, the application of biomimicry, comfort, aesthetics, sustainability and of course, personality.

The SAIC Mobiliant concept is inspired by the simple structure of an ant’s body and their symbiotic relationship with trumpet trees. Among the technologies imagined for this single-seat urban vehicle is a translucent cover that mimics the exoskeleton of ants, absorbing pollutants from the air and converting them into fertilizers that are transferred to plants in an "Ecobuilding" (i.e. the trumpet trees), which returns the favor by providing the vehicle with fermentation products to power its biofuel cell. The concepts also sports something called a "Cilium Layer Advanced Wheel System" which would provide enough grip to start climbing walls ... a feature that could be taken full advantage of in the 3D road network (the Mobiliant Expressway) which is proposed as part of the overall concept.

The SAIC Mobiliant concept
The SAIC Mobiliant concept

"The inspiration for the creative team comes directly from our surrounding environment," says Anthony Williams-Kenny, Global Design Director at SAIC Motor Corp. "The rapid and dramatic growth of the world's large conurbations inspires our designers to consider the requirements of personal mobility systems – to focus on the environmental factors related to automotive use such as the need to continue to reduce vehicle emissions, making each journey more efficient through the development of appealing, high value, personal transport."

Other participants included BMW, Subaru and Toyota, with entries referencing everything from self-sustaining silk worms to maple seeds to Kangaroos.

The Mobiliant was awarded the prize after judges agreed that its focus on the concept of mutualism – the harmony and balance found in nature when two different organisms develop and mutually beneficial relationship – set it apart from other entries.

Hit the source link below or head to the gallery to check out some of the other radical concepts featured in this year's competition.

Source: LA Auto Show Design Challenge

6 comments
Sergius
Futuristic designs, inspired by nature, as required by the contest, but yet with wheels, motors and batteries. No one was inspired by a magnetic gecko, for example. Exactly the way I think for many years, SAIC had the same idea of substituting elevators by own vehicle, but not magnetically, as I think will be when we have magnetized pathways.
donwine
Here is a new concept - did these designers ever consider that most people in the world just want to get from point A to point B in the cheapest and safest way possible? The lack of comments here should be an eye opener!
the.other.will
I could easily rephrase the post by donwine, but not improve upon it.
Gadgeteer
donwine, This is a design competition, not an engineering one. Designers by their very nature don't worry about practicality, only about aesthetics.
Satweavers
Oh well... even if it's not practical, it makes someone's portfolio appear to be "cutting edge". Perhaps it will inspire a few details in the next Will Smith robot adventure.
Slowburn
This is why "designers" should be kept as far from production designs as possible.