Arts students produce wacky 2020s Renault concept vehicles
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Renault has teamed up with students from a London arts university to create their cars of the future - and the results are nothing short of wacky.
Tasked to design concepts for the early 2020s, each vehicle had to incorporate an electric powertrain, autonomous driving features and connected technologies.
But some are just plain bizarre. One even acts like a pet, greeting you when you get in.
he winning entry, called The Float (bellow), uses magnetic levitation instead of wheels to look like a bubble hovering towards its next destination. Coming to a road near you in less than a decade, apparently.
It, along with two runners-up, will feature at the designjunction 2017 display in King's Cross, London.
Just three of an original shortlist of 15 entries will be featured, all of which were created by Central Saint Martins University of Arts London students who were put to task by the French car maker to create vehicles for 'a transport landscape that is changing quickly and dramatically'.
And things will need to change at some pace if the winner - chosen by two Renault designers - is anything to go by.
Made from transparent glass and featuring silver seats, the levitating Float is about as far from today's cars as you can get.
According to the student behind the design, Yuchen Cai, 23, the vehicle is a social space, letting occupants interact with passengers, other road users and pedestrians.
The vehicle is made up of pods - either for one or two people - and other Float users can attach their own pod to yours via a magnetic belt to allow vehicles to travel in unison.
The winning idea also includes a smartphone app with which users would be able to rent a Float at the touch of a button, similar to how individuals books an Uber today.
Talking about the competition Anthony Lo, vice-president of exterior design at Renault and one of the competition judges, said: 'This is the second time we have run a design competition with Central Saint Martins and once again our eyes have been opened to the extraordinary talent and imagination of the students and to the ways in which humans could travel in the future.
'Renault is focussed on creating autonomous, connected electric vehicles and it’s great to see that Central Saint Martins’ Industrial Design students really took this on board when creating their vision of the future.'
Two other designs will be showcased during the event, both of which were voted by Renault's design staff as worthy runners-up.
The first of these is 'Flo' (above), which incorporates three separate vehicles - one for freight transport, a second for personal use and a third for vehicle sharing. Think of it as the HGVs, taxis and buses of the future that could create 'a constant flow of goods and people across a city'.
Alongside it is the 'Vue' concept (above), which was created to establish an emotional bond between users and their future transport - taking inspiration from the relationship between humans and their pets, apparently.
That means 'Vue' will be sad when their owners say goodbye and the vehicle will greet the user when they get into it, like a pet does when you get home. Hopefully you won't have to clean up after it if it messes on your kitchen floor or tears your furniture apart.