Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mazda Motonari RX: LA Show Design Challenge

Apart from your “everyday” production vehicles and concept car premieres, the LA Show also hosts one of the craziest design contests in the world, the “Design Los Angeles”. Entering its fourth year, the Design Los Angeles provides designers and carmakers unlimited freedom to create the most radical and wackiest propositions you’ll ever see on paper. This year’s contest is themed “2057 Robocars”. We’ll be showing the entries throughout the day but we though we’d start off with one of the weirdest designs we’ve seen, the Mazda Motonari RX. Named after a legendary Japanese warrior Mori Motonari, Mazda’s proposition looks like the love child between a Decepticon and Ripley’s Alien monster

Mazda Motonari RX

The Motonari RX, named after legendary Japanese warrior Mori Motonari, non-invasively integrates the driver with the vehicle making each indistinguishable from the other. A driving suit serves as the primary interface between the occupant and the vehicle, which contains millions of microscopic actuators functioning as a haptic envelope. This allows the driver to experience the road psycho-somatically, receiving electrical stimulation to specific muscle groups.

The entire structure of the vehicle is comprised of a 100 percent re-prototypable, carbon nano-tube/shape memory alloy weave with a photovoltaic coating. This enables programmable tensiometry and fluid movement while insuring efficient energy transfer to the in-wheel electro-static nanomotors.

The four omni-wheels allow 360 degree movement. Acceleration and direction is determined by two armrest mounted control points. Occupant positioning controls the effectiveness of cornering and is comparable to street luge maneuvering in appearance.

Mazda R&D of North America

Designer: Matthew Cunningham

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