Sometimes it really feels like we’re living in the future. Remember on “The Jetsons” when they used to cruise around on jetpacks? Well, we might be one step closer to that reality with hover cars.
Renault, a French multinational automobile manufacturer, held a contest to design the “car of the future” at DesignJunction 2017, an annual event held as part of the London Design Festival. The focus on this year’s car design was on electric power, autonomous driver and connected technologies. This year’s winner was Yunchen Cai, who designed a vehicle called “The Float.”
winner of Groupe_Renault and central saint martins competition unveils car of the future
The float uses Maglev technology in place of wheels. Maglev technology utilizes magnetic levitation. Tesla is currently using Maglev technology in its Hyperloop pusher pod. The Float features a glass exterior and silver seats. It is designed to be non-directional, which allows it to move in any direction without turning around.
To come up with her innovative design, Cai says she “thought about how Renault might use modularity to design a car that can be adapted to meet the wants and needs of real people.” She says that modularity is a design of components that can be assembled together in a variety of ways to meet an individual user’s needs.
Yichan Cai’s Renault Float concept is a pod-like modular car share system; can connect with other vehicles.
In accordance with Cai’s vision, the design is able to support pods for one or two people. Additional pods can be attached using a magnetic belt around the exterior so that people can travel together. It also features bucket seats and sliding doors for maximum ease of entering and exiting the vehicle. The Float is designed to work with an app that would allow rentals, similar ordering a Lyft or Uber.
As the winner of the contest, Cai spent two weeks as an intern at Renault’s Technocentre, where she developed her project alongside the company’s designers and built the model that was displayed at DesignJunction.
Now, we’ll just have to wait for the news that Renault is beginning to manufacture and sell The Float hover car!
Other finalists in the competition included ‘Flo’ (the boxier concept above) a concept incorporating freight, personal and shared transport to create a “seamless journey”, and the ‘Vue’ (the spherical, wheeled car) which creates an emotional bond between you and your car, meaning it would miss you after you left, like a little un-potty-trained puppy.
Talking about the competition, judge Anthony Lo, Vice-President of Exterior Design at Renault, 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.”