Transparent Transport


Now, I’m no gearhead, but I’m definitely excited by the future. The futuristic UVA Concept Car was designed for the Michelin Design Challenge, bringing the words driving and gliding a bit closer. The car runs on magnetic levitation suspension that can be triggered on an empty stretch of road to give the sensation of being in the air. Couple this with UVA’s crazy awesome photochromic exterior that can be made opaque or transparent by choice. An opaque tessellated pattern that appears and disappears can control the amount of light coming in, covering the car completely, or making it look like an automotive bubble zooming across the tarmac!

Designers: Jean Hiss and Robin Apprioual.









  • Stephen Russell says:

    Id drive this, awesome, for now make into an EV or hybrid models.
    Lisc for other auto makers to produce.

  • NZ says:

    1. Have you ever heard the expression “reinvent the wheel”? Because it seems like that’s literally what you’ve done.
    2. Automotive design seems to be going in the direction of MORE privacy. Why would I want to ride around in a fish bowl as if I’m on display?
    3. How does the tessellating pattern exterior work once it gets a crack or a chip in it?
    4. If my magnetically levitating wheel gets a flat tire or something, how do I pull over to the side of the road to change it? Or do I need an electrical engineering degree first?
    5. Having exposed magnets seems like it could be hazardous in an environment where there are often tiny shards of metal lying around. You know, like on roads. What protects against this?
    6. The part of the car containing the people is very sleek and aerodynamic. So why are the wheels just sticking out on the sides as if drag isn’t a thing?

    • Sarang Sheth says:

      I pity you for living a life absolutely devoid of awe. Do you not notice the words “futuristic” and “concept” in the article description? Or are you just having a bad day?

      • NZ says:

        I apologize if my tone was harsh: it made the wrong impression. At the root of this, I suppose, is that my expectations about “futuristic” and “concept” must be different from yours. But, there’s no need for you to be defensive.

        Futuristic concepts that ignore the eternal constraints of reality are just make-believe. There’s a place for fun make-believe, I guess, but it isn’t where anyone goes for “awe”. It’s like the difference between “Star Wars” and “2001: A Space Odyssey”. One is pure fantasy, the other is a futuristic concept. One movie sold a lot of action figures, the other inspired scientists and thinkers.

        There’s a quote, and if I remember it right it goes “A good trend forecaster doesn’t predict the car, he predicts the traffic jam.” Anybody can imagine cool objects, but the awe-inspiring work is in envisioning how future environments and might plausibly give rise to new designs and new ways of doing things.

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