Design Concept of the Day: EDAG Light Cocoon
January 7, 2015 § Leave a comment
One for the Geneva Auto Salon in March: German consultancy/coachbuilder EDAG is exploring future lightweight construction with its Light Cocoon concept. Its exoskeleton-style structure is described as “bionically optimised” and bionically inspired” and developed from that of last year’s Genesis (said to have been inspired by a turtleshell), and constructed in an additive manufacturing (3D printing) process using a minimum of materials. It’s the bodypanels that are most striking, however: rather than metal or plastic panels, it’s covered with a stretchy weatherproof textile ‘skin’ developed by outdoors clothing firm Jack Wolfskin. This gives an organic feel (evoked by a leaf, apparently) as well as much-reduced weight, and it’s all shown off to effect by backlighting; it “offers enormous potential and stimulus for the ultimate lightweight construction of the future”, says EDAG CTO Jörg Ohlsen. More detail from EDAG (via Car Design News).
- Ford’s CES speech: 25 “global mobility experiments” in transportation will help shape its forthcoming investments, said president/CEO Mark Fields. It’s looking into social collaboration, flexible usership models and customer experiences, addressing four global trends – population growth, middle class expansion (in developing regions), air quality and public health – and the trials include a fleet of on-demand Ford Focus Electric/Fiesta Ecoboosts in a London car-share; collecting data on driver behaviour for personalised insurance plans (London); an app with live data on traffic and parking spaces (London); and on-demand shared commuter shuttles (London and New York), as well as further programmes in Europe, the US, Africa and India. More details on these here. Following on from Ford’s Innovate Mobility Challenge Series, it’s all about data-gathering as well as communication: “We see a world where vehicles talk to one another, drivers and vehicles communicate with the city infrastructure to relieve congestion, and people routinely share vehicles or multiple forms of transportation for their daily commute,” said Fields. In line with this, Ford also showed off its latest SYN 3 communications/entertainment interface, and noted that its fully-automated Fusion Hybrid test vehicle is on the road.
- Thinking of shuttles… just picked up on a report by the LA Times saying that van-pooling has more than doubled in North America in the last six years, with further growth expected this year. That’s van-pooling as in up to five people sharing what we’d call an MPV (minivan); in the US, such schemes are administered with help from the publicly-funded Metro programme, which counts 1,375 pools in its network. Small numbers as yet in a big country, but interesting to note that it’s happening.
- And also from the LAT, while I’m there: traffic-avoidance and routing apps are encouraging drivers to cut through residential areas, the paper reports. Residents not happy. Apparently there are 2million users of an app called Waze in Greater Los Angeles… On a happier note, though, Los Angeles Metro is now testing the US’s first articulated electric bus (the big locally-built BYD Lancaster) on its Orange line.
- Further up the West Coast, news from Oregon via PluginCars: EV charging points in Eugene’s public garages have been used on average only once a fortnight. They’re in the wrong places, are now too slow, and most local EV drivers are charging at home anyway now, apparently.