LA Design Challenge 2014: Infiniti SYNAPTIQ Concept
Infiniti’s entry for the 2014 LA Design Challenge is a futuristic, transforming vehicle featuring an advanced HMI combining augmented reality, 3D holograms and wearable technology.
The concept was developed by a large design team working at the Infiniti Design Studio in San Diego, CA, and has just won the first-ever People’s Choice Award at the Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge.
To create an interesting background for the project, the Infiniti Design team imagined a vehicle triathlon race set in the year 2029 called the A.R.C. Race which includes air, rally, and circuit competitions.
The concept consists of a universal fuselage pod that can integrate into the three vehicle types: a Formula-1 for the first stretch of the race from LA to Las Vegas; an off-road buggy for the second portion – a desert race in the Grand Canyon; and a jet for the final third leg of the race, an extreme gymkhana style jet race through virtual pylons back to Los Angeles.
Interpreting the challenge theme “Sensing the Future”, the vehicle is characterized by a high-tech Human Machine Interface (HMI) – the designers’ vision of how people will be connecting with their vehicles in the year 2029. Technology“SYNAPTIQ is a holistic system which takes our current understanding of augmented reality, 3D hologram, and wearable technology to the next level.” Part of the system is the SYNAPTIQ S.U.I.T. (Sym- biotic User Interface Technology, which connects the driver’s thoughts through a spinal lock attachment into the pod; woven with synthetic muscles, the outfit suspends the pilot into the driving position. The suit both enhances and gives tactile resistance to the driver to simulate a physical interaction with the machine.
The liquid crystal ETFE canopies are enhanced with an augmented reality system that actively displays relevant information, such as the pilot’s vitals and vehicle dynamics.
The information core of the Infiniti USER INTERFACE (I.U.I.) is a floating holographic projection that is extremely flexible and adaptive to each driver’s situation and needs.
The pilot, who remains with the single fuselage pod, can seamlessly transfer among “SYNAPTIQ’s” three chassis vehicle types while displaying the graphic user interface.
The system will allow the driver to stay familiar with the interior environment with a user interface that seamlessly adapts to any driving or flying condition.
People’s Choice Award
Infiniti’s entry received the most online votes from visitors to the LA Auto Show Design Challenge’s Facebook® page, allowing the automaker to receive the first-ever People’s Choice Award in the program’s 11-year history.
The Design Team
- Taro Ueda, Vice President
- Shinichiro Irie, Design Director
- John Anthony Sahs, Interior Design Manager
- Randy Rodriguez, Project Lead Designer
- Jackie Chang, Senior Interior Designer
- Dan Jimenez, Exterior Designer
- Sam Lim, Exterior Designer
- Simon Tien, GUI Designer
- Daniel Mai, GUI Designer
- Ann Ngo, Senior Researcher
- Ray Devers, Senior Designer
- Don Sondys, Specialist Senior Visualization
- Matt Wilson, Senior Digital Designer
- Jon Wen, Design Intern
- Sam Kenny, Design Intern
- Omead Dorandish, Design Intern
(Source: LA Auto Show)