John McCarthy’s model, the Hotspot Urban Base (HUB), is built upon the idea that Gen Aers will be more immersed in technology and have higher expectations for connectivity than any other generation.
As such, this autonomous vehicle merges the digital and physical lives of its three passengers into one simple environment and allows for engaging digital experiences.
The flexible design allows for its polyhedron 3D structure to morph into an almost infinite number of shapes and different levels of stiffness, similar to muscle fibers pulling and contracting as a skeletal structure.
Thermoplastic materials allow freeform 3D-printed lithium ion batteries to be mounted into the vehicle’s fenders, allowing them to become cooling surfaces.
Ultra-lightweight polymers create the ability to have a giant, flexing ‘live hinge’ door, providing very easy access to the front and rear seating areas. Ultra-soft, flexible shape memory polymers create personally customized interior spaces for the three passengers.
As a side note, four weeks into the project, John broke his sketching hand while replacing the oil pan gasket on his car.
“His hand was set in a cast for the next five weeks. Though he could not sketch, he used that time to develop a well thought-out and well researched concept, which clearly paid off in the eyes of the jury.”
(Image Courtesy: Art Center for Car Body Design)