The Design Challenge in the Los Angeles auto show is gaining popularity every year. It challenges automakers from all parts of the world to try their hand at designing a car that meets a set of specific requirements. In 2010 Cadillac has bagged the price for the best design with its design of Aera city car concept.
The set of requirements given to the contenders in the design challenge was to design a car that is:
A four passenger vehicle
Weighs under 1000 pounds
Without compromising on performance, comfort, style and integrity.
To fulfill the above mentioned requirements, the Cadillac Aera uses a pneumatic drive system, a technology that makes use of the energy in compressed air to work as an engine. This enables smooth and a quiet movement of the Cadillac.The pneumatic drive system contains a 10,000-psi composite air tank which enables the vehicle to travel about a thousand miles before it needs a refill.
The next technology used in the Cadillac Aera is that of the pressurized air cells, which is the same as the one found in NASA Mars Rover. These air cells replace paint on the exterior of the car making it safe and comfortable. As this coat enhances the vehicle’s aerodynamic qualities, the makers decided to replace the body panels and glass as well with the polymer skin. It is equipped with an all in one wheel system which combines various functions into one. It takes care of the steering, rotator propulsion system and the suspension systems. In addition to this, they claim to have a vehicle to vehicle communication which prevents accidents from occurring.
This concept was designed to go on par with the forward thinking philosophy of Cadillac which is art and science. They claim to have combined Art and Science in this ultra-light weight vehicle. The requirement was to design a car as an urban city vehicle but the winning team approached this from their brand’s perspective. It weighs about 1000 pounds. Aera’s high efficiency is a result of using very few body parts. Its body uses a 3D lattice monoformed frame. This poly-hedral structure creates a really strong and surprisingly light weight frame. All major body parts including the interior components are made using a single lattice structure. They also concentrated on minimizing environmental impact without compromising on efficiency.
The interior is manufactured with an ultra-light recyclable polymer that allows for HVAC channels. It also has fully adjustable seating, storage and comfort features all in one mono-form structure. The entire interior of the car is created in a single lattice structure.
The car also has a provision for storage, with space enough to store the luggage of two people.
Those involved in designing the Cadillac Aera are
The GM Advanced Design Studio North Hollywood: Frank Saucedo, director,
Phil Tanioka, car designer
Brent Wickham, conceptual strategist
Shawn Moghadam, designer and
Timonen, the project manager.
The concepts that won were really spot on for the winners with no prior preparation.