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Car makers emulate nature in design challenge

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The entries into the Los Angeles motor show’s 10th Annual Desing Challenge have been revealed, showcasing the carmakers’ visions based on this year’s theme: ‘Biomimicry and Mobility 2025 – Nature’s Answer to Human Challenges’.

Twelve auto designs studios are competing for the prize, including names such as BMW, Changfeng, Hyundai, JAC Motors, Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, Qoros, SAIC Motor, Subaru and Toyota. All of the entries are concepts for mobility solutions and systems inspired from natural creatures, structures and occurrences.

BMW entered two concepts, the first one being named ‘LA Subways’ – a mobility solution meant to reduce the traffic congestion in Los Angeles. According to the German carmaker, the futuristic-looking boat concept will use ‘forgotten waterways as a commuting alternative’.

Their second entry is called ‘S.E.E.D.’ or Sustainable Efficient Exploratory Device which is inspired by the maple seed. The goal of this concept being to explore inhospitable environments for signs of life and in order to work with the theme of ‘biomimicry’, the S.E.E.D. is powered by wind, solar energy and gravity.

The concept from JAC Motors was named ‘HEIFI’ or, Harmonious Eco-Friendly Efficient Infrastructure. This concept is intended to be a mobility system inspired by the self-sufficiency of nature. All the vehicles are powered by a grid system and idle vehicles power running vehicles while on the grid. JAC suggests that if all vehicles are on the same grid, autonomous driving technology will be much easier to introduce and thus drastically reduce accidents, traffic jams and energy waste.

The proposal from Mazda is a bit less conceptual than the ones we’ve talked about till now, being designed to make autonomous vehicles more attractive to keen drivers. Called ‘Auto Adapt’ the idea behind this vehicle is that it can be operated either manually or autonomously.

Subaru’s proposal is inspired by the kangaroo in a nod to its Australian fanbase. The ‘Suba-Roo’ concept mimics the efficient and powerful jumping motions of the kangaroo and is a one-legged, wearable mobility vehicle.

The entries will be judged on various factors from the creative adaptation of nature to the application of human intelligence to biomimicry to improve a vehicle’s efficiency, comfort, convenience and aesthetics.

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