The esteemed judges of the 11th annual LA Auto Show Design Challenge named Honda Advanced Design Tokyo the winner of the 2014 competition, themed “Sensing the Future: How Will Cars Interact with Us in 2029?”
Honda Tokyo came out on top against four world-renowned design studios for the prestigious honor, with its innovative and intuitive CARpet concept. Infiniti Design San Diego was also crowned the first “People’s Choice Award” winner for its imaginative SYNAPTIQ design.
During a time when people have become fully autonomous, CARpet meets those needs by activating users to shape and alter the layout of the interior space in a playful manner to perfectly match needs and desires. CARpet is an interior with a human focus consisting of two main elements: a carpet, which is highly flexible and seamlessly changes shape to a user’s liking, and a ball, which allows drivers to interact during their autonomous journey. Honda’s CARpet brings back the joy of travel, and through the ball the car receives driver input to determine its optimum move helping to allow drivers to simply enjoy the ride.
Themed “Sensing the Future: How Will Cars Interact With Us In 2029?” the competitors focused on automotive interiors that will comfortably and safely connect the driver and/or passengers to the car and paid special attention to various factors being judged including comfort, attention to human sense and emotional connection, ecological sensitivity, creativity of concept, control and function of concept and reflection of the brand.
Although all five participating design studios presented thought-provoking concepts, it was Honda Tokyo that best met the judging criteria on how future technology will further transform human-to-machine interfaces that connect with senses, predict our next moves and create a more humanlike relationship with our vehicles. Whether alone or with friends, CARpet interior allows travelers to create intuitive and natural forms to enjoy their ride.
“Honda Advanced Design Tokyo created a seamless, inclusive and integrated concept with CARpet that brings back the fun in family road trips,” said Tom Matano, Design Challenge judge and Executive Director of the School of Industrial Design, Academy of Art University. “They successfully created a human-centric design solution which included the promise of technology and connectivity to make the experience for drivers enjoyable. It is truly intuitive and anticipating of what people want.”
Other design studios who participated in this year’s Design Challenge represented global automakers Infiniti, Acura, Qoros and Peterbilt Motors. From human-to-machine interface concepts made of adjustable mesh to vehicles operating together in symbiotic relationships and intelligent, multi-dimensional personal management assistant concepts, the entries created a fierce competition and long deliberation by the judges.
This year’s panel of judges included Tom Matano, Executive Director of the School of Industrial Design, Academy of Art University, Stewart Reed, Chair of Transportation Design, Art Center College of Design and Alexander Klatt, Chair of MFA Transportation Design & Associate Professor, College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
For the first time in Design Challenge history, a “People’s Choice Award” was up for grabs, and after the online poll commenced Infiniti Design San Diego was crowned the public’s favorite entry for its SYNAPTIQ design. SYNAPTIQ introduces a brand new universal fuselage pod that can transform into three vehicle types, which will be used for the brand’s unique triathlon competition, the A.R.C. race (Air, Rally, Circuit). It will enhance the driver’s passion and performance for racing as well as influence the design of a vehicle that will provoke imagination.
In addition to the five competing studios, several other studios showcased their latest future-facing concepts in the Design Gallery, making for a total of 10 studios from around the world participating in the Show. Studios that exhibited in the gallery included: CALTY Design Research (USA), Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center California (USA), Nissan Design America, Inc. (USA), Subaru Global Design Team (Japan) and Volkswagen Group of America Design Center California (USA). Additionally, leading design schools with automotive programs displayed select student concepts in a special part of the gallery.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]