Photos: Automakers Envision the Melding of Robotics and Cars

Southern California Automotive Design Studios Predict How Robotics and

Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Transportation in 50 Years

Oct 12, 2007, 01:00 ET from LA Auto Show

    LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's vehicles feature
 artificial intelligence that allow hands-free parking and electronic
 stability control, but in 50 years vehicles might be able to move in any
 direction, drive and navigate robotically and have structures that morph
 and adapt to passengers' needs.
     To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:
     This is according to auto designers as part of the fourth annual Los
 Angeles Auto Show's Design Challenge. Eight automotive design studios based
 in Southern California, including Audi, GM, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz,
 Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen created design concepts that envision the
 RoboCar of 2057. These futuristic designs adapt to a variety of
 environmental conditions and consumer needs, from battling LA's traffic
 vertically to turning pollutants extracted out of the air into fuel and
 even picking the kids up after soccer practice without the need for a human
     The designers entered two dimensional renderings and concept
 descriptions predicting how the rapidly advancing field of artificial
 intelligence will integrate into the automobile to make life safer, more
 convenient and more attractive to consumers 50 years from now.
     Entries will be judged by Tom Matano of San Francisco's Academy of Art
 University, Imre Molner of Detroit's College for Creative Studies and
 Stewart Reed of Pasadena's Art Center College of Design. Special guest
 judge this year is robotics expert Chris Myers. Meyers is an independent
 design consultant specializing in remote telepresence robotics and has been
 a contributing writer for robotic hobby magazines, Servo and Robot. He also
 teaches design at San Francisco's Academy of Art University.
     Entries in this year's RoboCar 2057 Design Challenge include:
     -- Audi of America Design Center California: The Audi Virtuea Quattro is a
        hydrogen-powered vehicle that functions as a solid unit at its core,
        while providing a myriad of possible holographic exteriors.
     -- General Motors Advanced Design: The GM-Onstar ANT features
        vehicle-to-vehicle communication to optimize traffic flow along with
        omni-directional propulsion provided by three independent Nanorb wheel
     -- Honda Research and Development, North America: One to the
        Power of Four is a solar-hybrid powered robotic commuter that allows
        carpoolers to use HOV lanes and once near final destinations,
        transforms from one into four separate vehicles.
     -- Mazda R&D of North America: The Motonari RX integrates the driver with
        the vehicle allowing the driver to experience the road
        psycho-somatically and also has 360 degree movement capability.
     -- Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America: The Silverflow utilizes
        micro-metallic particles that can be arranged via magnetic fields in
        many different forms based on pre-selected models and then be
        completely dissembled into a pool of ferromagnetic material.
     -- Nissan Design America: The Nissan OneOne is guided by a real-time GPS
        network and acts as both transportation and personal assistant with the
        ability to run errands or take children safely to school. It also
        adapts from performance car to city car by lying down for speed or
        standing up for better visibility.
     -- Toyota's Calty Design Research: The Biomobile Mecha can extract
        pollutants in the air and utilize it as an energy source.
        Nanotechnology also enables the structure of the vehicle to expand and
        contract horizontally and vertically for multiple uses.
     -- Volkswagen of America Design Center: The Slipstream adapts for city and
        freeway driving. These two-wheeled, teardrop shaped pods travel in an
        upright orientation that occupies one-fifth the size of a traditional
        vehicle and when on the freeway, tilts horizontally to be more
     "Much how the Transformers toys and the more recent Transformers movie
 have captivated millions of imaginations, the question of how artificial
 intelligence will evolve in the service of humanity is a topic of almost
 universal fascination," said Chuck Pelly, director of Design Los Angeles
 and partner in The Design Academy, Inc.
     About the Design Challenge
     The Design Challenge is part of the Design Los Angeles automobile
 designers' conference that has evolved into an integral element of the Los
 Angeles Auto Show. Entering its fourth year, Design Los Angeles provides
 designers with leading design speakers and the opportunity to address
 common issues. More than 500 designers attended last year's event.
     The Design Challenge has become a highly anticipated competition that
 pits design studios against each other to flex their creativity. The
 competition has received rave reviews from journalists and extensive media
 exposure throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas.