Sunday, December 14, 2008

BMW LayerON Concept: Personalized rent car

The BMW LayerON is a design study of a futuristic rental vehicle which can be customized in shape by means of electrically controlled outer panels. It was created by students at The European Institute of Design in Turin, Italy. The three designers are Aydar Nigmatullin(Russia), Patrick De Laet Moreno(Spain) and Rocco Sergio D'Argento (Italy).

Back in August, we wrote an article on a contest sponsored by BMW where students at the European Institute of Design were creating 2015 BMW concepts. The students' job was to interpret the language, evolution and the trademark essence, in view of the company's future perspectives.

The project BMW LayerOn was developed in two stages, first they focused on future world and society.

"We noticed that the world 'goes virtual' : people buy less and rent more. The post-industrial society is characterized by the vast use of services and, respectively, decreased purchase of goods."

"We imagined that future generations will go further following this trend. And they would like to have a rental car when they need it rather than to buy one."

Another trend taken into consideration was the need for personalization, the possibility of customizing your car to meet your needs.

"Everybody want to have a car that reflects one's personality, a car that is fully customizable. And this was our challenge: to make a car for rent, but still personal."

The second stage, development, was to incorporate the case study from step one. The LayerON has a bio-inspired skeleton structure on which the covering panels create a sort of outer skin.

The front panels have a sandwich structure: the plastic material outside is combined with an internal layer which is electrically controlled and can can contract and dilate, thus changing the overall shape of the vehicle. Gina Concept was based on a similar principle where instead of a steel or aluminum body parts, high-tech-textile is used that can be formed in multiple ways.

Moreover, the design would allow downloading personal driver settings, for custom exterior appearance, favorite interface of car display, electronic driver's assistant voice and even driving preferences.

What I love the most about the design is the focus on the driver's habits, preferences and the desire for personalization, something that current BMWs are missing. Despite the skepticism, I do see these type of concepts making their way into the public market within the next 15-20 years.

And here is a pretty cool video:

[Source: CarBodyDesign ]



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