SAIC wins the LA Design Challenge 2013 with the Roewe Mobiliant Concept

SAIC wins the LA Design Challenge 2013 with the Roewe Mobiliant Concept

The winner of the LA Design Challenge 2013 is SAIC Motor’s Roewe Mobiliant Concept, the vehicle inspired by ants that aims at solving urban traffic and pollution in the cities of the future.


Inspired by a simple ant’s distinctive body structure and the mutually beneficial relationship between ants and trumpet trees, the Roewe Mobiliant is a single-seat vehicle for urban public transit, which helps improve both transportation and operation efficiency for future urban ecological systems.

Roewe Mobiliant Concept - 3D rendering

The judges unanimously agreed that it was Mobiliant’s focus on the concept of mutualism that set it apart. The system was based upon the balance and harmony found in nature when two organisms of different species exist in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Roewe Mobiliant - Concept Art

The judges also agreed that the Mobiliant concept was optimistic, beautiful and best answered the competition criteria by mimicking a truly sustainable solution that resembled an ancient system that has worked for millions of years.

Roewe Mobiliant Concept - Top View“The inspiration for the creative team comes directly from our surrounding environment,” said Anthony Williams-Kenny, Global Design Director at SAIC Motor.

“The rapid and dramatic growth of the world’s large conurbations inspires our designers to consider the requirements of personal mobility systems – to focus on the environmental factors related to automotive use such as the need to continue to reduce vehicle emissions, making each journey more efficient through the development of appealing, high value, personal transport.”

Check the full gallery of images or the individual projects.

Selection Process

From self-sustaining silk worms to long-forgotten waterways, the entries created fierce competition and long deliberation by the judges.

Entries were judged on various criteria: creative adaptation of nature’s laws (plants & animals); application of human intelligence to Biomimicry in unique ways to improve the efficiency of future vehicles; comfort, convenience, aesthetics of the vehicle; sustainability of the building, servicing, operation, and life cycle; and the personality of the vehicle.

The esteemed panel of judges included Tom Matano, Executive Director, School of Industrial Design at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University; Stewart Reed, Chair of Transportation Design at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design; John Manoogian, Adjunct Professor Auto Design Studio at the College for Creative Studies; and Abel Sampson, Publisher of the Design Group of CarDesignNews.

The panel was also joined by guest judge, Dr. Gabriel A. Miller, who currently serves as the Director of Research & Development at the Centre for Bioinspiration at San Diego Zoo Global, where he devotes his work to the implementation of nature’s design and engineering solutions to advance humanity, wildlife, and habitats.

In addition to the nine competing studios, three additional studios chose to highlight their team’s capabilities by displaying their concepts in this year’s Design Gallery, making for a total of 12 displays.

These organizations include Hyundai Design and Research Center, Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center California and Nissan Design America.

The concepts are currently displayed at the LA Auto Show in the newly created Design Gallery through the run of the public show (Nov. 22-Dec. 1, 2013).

About the Contest

Themed “Biomimicry & Mobility 2025 – Nature’s Answer to Human Challenges,” the competitors focused on mobility solutions for a variety of transportation issues, such as congestion, pollution, safety and sustainability, with the design inspiration coming from Mother Nature.

Other auto design studios who participated in the LA Auto Show’s 2013 Design Challenge represented brands BMW, MINI, Changfeng, JAC Motors, Mazda, Qoros, Subaru and Toyota.

(Source: LA Auto Show)

Image Gallery

SAIC wins the LA Design Challenge 2013 with the Roewe Mobiliant Concept - Image 2
SAIC wins the LA Design Challenge 2013 with the Roewe Mobiliant Concept - Image 4
SAIC wins the LA Design Challenge 2013 with the Roewe Mobiliant Concept - Image 1
SAIC wins the LA Design Challenge 2013 with the Roewe Mobiliant Concept - Image 3

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