Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

Ralph Lauren : L’Art de l’automobile

I’ve always seen cars as art. Moving art. While friends of mine were into paintings, I somehow felt that the real beauty of owning a rare & magnificently designed car was the fact that you can use it. You can look at it, enjoy its visual qualities as with a painting, but you can also get inside and drive it – which means both enjoying the drive itself and going somewhere with it. How these are put together, the purposefulness with which they were created, in every detail – the engine, the mechanics, the outside ornamentation, the design of the wheels, the whole spirit – is very, very exciting. And on top of that you have the men who created these cars, Mr. Porsche, Mr. Bugatti, Mr. Ferrari, and their backgrounds, their heritages, their fascinating histories, their reasons for driving and building these cars – I find it all very stimulating.

– Ralph Lauren in Speed, Style & Beauty, 2004.


RL Car Show

Les Arts Décoratifs


Written by Offbeatism [LMD]

May 4, 2011 at 12:48 am

The taxi of tomorrow


The UniCab comprises enhanced ergonomic functionality of (universal) design (i.e. the most usability for the most people) – no matter what size, shape or measure of mobility they possess. The vehicles’ main focus is on: safety of passengers/driver, ease of use, reliability, minimal environmental footprint and iconic design.

UniCab derives from the notion of Universal Design – access for all.

The essence of the UniCab Taxi of Tomorrow is about people-moving with a lighter footprint, treading more gently on the earth as human beings rather than human doings. The overall aesthetic of the vehicle is influenced by New York City.

Dynamic attitude, worldly impact, ambience, unique identity and understanding its place in the world, comfort, securty and a ‘can do’ attitude are all reflected in the design of the vehicle. The package requiring excellent access and space for passengers, coupled with the experience of riding in the vehicle are the two main drivers for the design. This is reflected in the way the transparent roof opens up the views of surrounding spaces, unique NYC skyline and the experience of warm sunshine beaming through.

The UniCab allows for safer side entry of wheelchairs and mobility scooters and their users can sit up front next to the driver as they travel and be included in interaction with driver and other passengers. It also allows ease of access for parents with prams and strollers as they travel around the city.

The embedded Digital Message Visors within the tinted window screens illuminate in green letters to advise the public where that cab is heading e.g. SoHo followed by a red digits e.g. SoHo 3 to indicate how many seats (3) are available on that route (entitling all passengers to discounted fares).

That is, ⇑CabShare = ⇓CabFare (the more you CabShare, the less your CabFare) which is a blue default alternating message between (& behind) the destination message. When the Taxi of Tomorrow is Vacant the blue default message is a double space U n i C a b.

In this way UniCabs can discreetly move more people in less time with a less vehicular movements, less traffic congestion and less air, noise & visual pollution of public city space!


[More info: Unicab]

Written by Offbeatism [LMD]

June 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Roadable aircraft

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Categorized as a Light Sport Aircraft, the Transition® requires a Sport Pilot certificate to fly. It is a two-seat aircraft designed to take off and land at local airports and drive on any road. Transforming from plane to car takes the pilot less than 30 seconds. The Transition® will cruise up to 450 miles at over 115 mph, will drive at highway speeds on the road, and fits in a standard household garage. The vehicle has front wheel drive on the road and a propeller for flight. Both modes are powered by unleaded automotive gasoline. By giving pilots a convenient ground transportation option, the Transition® reduces the cost, inconvenience, and weather sensitivity of personal aviation. It also increases safety by incorporating automotive crash structures and allowing pilots to drive under bad weather.

Cruise: 100 kts (115 mph)
Rotate: 70 kts (80 mph)
Stall: 45 kts (51 mph)
Range: 400nm (460 mi)
Takeoff over 50′ obstacle: 1700′
Fuel burn: 5 gph
Fuel tank: 20 gallons
Useful Load: 430 lbs
On road: 30 mpg, highway speeds
Light Sport Aircraft (LSA)

Front wheel drive on the ground
Automotive-style entry and exit
Two place, side by side
Automated electromechanical folding wing
No trailer or hangar needed
Cargo area holds skis, fishing poles or golf clubs

Drive in case of inclement weather
Proven 100 hp Rotax 912S engine
Full vehicle parachute available
Modern glass avionics
Automotive crash safety features

6’ 9” tall
80” wide
18’ 9” long

6’ 3” tall
19’ 2” long

27’ 6”

51” at the shoulder

Refundable airframe reservations of $10,000 are currently being accepted and anticipated purchase price is $194,000. Tentative first customer delivery is on 2011.


Terrafugia (ter-ra-FOO-gee-ah), based in Woburn, MA, is comprised of a team of award-winning engineers who have been advancing the state of personal aircraft since 2006. Founded by five pilots who are graduates of MIT and supported by a world-class network of advisors and private investors, Terrafugia’s mission is the innovative expansion of personal mobility. “Terrafugia” is Latin for “escape from land.”

Written by Offbeatism [LMD]

February 17, 2010 at 6:29 pm

VW Breathe 2038

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Future of Delivery, Both Human and Cargo [Yanko Design]

The year is 2038 and the mode of transport is the VW Breathe. Its functions are clearly defined: Quick light delivery service, Public transportation & Personal commuter. Area of commute is of course a metropolis city, and what’s intriguing is that this fully GPS driven vehicle has two modes: human transporting and goods delivering.

For the benefit of space efficiency on the road in a big city, the Breathe will be used both as a private commuter and delivery device, so that the number of the transportation devices will be decreased. The Breathe reduces the unnecessary usage of private vehicles, public transportation, and even delivery vehicles by transforming into three different modes. Designed with advanced materials, the Breathe can transform its body shape and proportion.

The T-shaped structure of the design contains 4 wheels that can change the width and length in varied circumstances to provide handy operation. The shell of the concept has been envisioned of a gel filled elastic material that can transform the car into a lower and longer speed-car or a compact public transportation, whichever is required depending on a particular situation.


This futuristic concept car was designed by Chansong Park, a graduate from the Umea Institute of Design, Sweden specializing in Transportation and Industrial Design.

Written by Offbeatism [LMD]

January 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm


Manuelle Gautrand’s winning showroom [WAN]

Citroën has a long history of embracing modern architecture to create unique spaces in which to showcase their products. Examples include the iconic Marbeuf building, designed by Bazin and Laprade in 1929, a glass-façaded showroom on the Champs Elysées, designed by Maurice-Jacques Ravazé and opened in 1932. This was overhauled in 1984 as the ‘Hippo-Citroën’, a combination of car showroom, café and restaurant, the site has now been given a thoroughly modern reconstruction.

In 2008, the new building, known as C42, was designed by architect Manuelle Gautrand after an international competition. C42 marks a return to the large glass façade, only this time with a distinctively brand-centric spin; the famous double chevron logo is woven into the 30m high faceted front. The architect describes the frontage as ‘an allegory of automotive design,’ in the way the 86-tonne latticework of glass and steel encloses the display space within, yet is also freestanding and self-supporting, just as a car’s bodywork is a structural element in its own right. Inside, a central mast rises up the full height of the space, containing suspended rotating platforms to display cars and concepts.

Born in 1961, Manuelle Gautrand qualified as an architect in 1985. After working on several joint projects, she set up her own practice in 1991. Despite her young age, Manuelle Gautrand has already designed numerous projects in France and has been singled out in the French and international press. In 2005, she was invited to the Deutsches Architektur Museum in Frankfurt to present her design for the Citroën showroom on the Champs Elysées.

Written by Offbeatism [LMD]

December 8, 2009 at 1:45 pm

sQuba diving

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The inspiration for the sQuba was the animated Lotus Esprit driven by James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me. During the thirty years since the movie premiered, Rinspeed founder and CEO Frank M. Rinderknecht wanted to build a car that could move underwater like a submarine. The sQuba is a zero-emission, all electric vehicle which uses three electric motors, one for land travel and two for water. It drives on land powered by its electric rear-wheel drive powertrain, utilizing rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

Upon entering water, it floats on the surface until the operator floods the interior to submerge it. It can be submerged to a depth of 10 metres (33 ft), powered by twin electric-powered propellers supplemented by two Seabob water jets. It “flies” when underwater, like a submarine, as it is not designed to drive along the surface at the bottom of the water. The car’s top land speed is 120 km/h (75 mph). On the surface of water, the top speed is 6 km/h (3.2 kn; 3.7 mph) and underwater it is 3 km/h (1.6 kn; 1.9 mph).

The vehicle can transport a driver and passenger in its open cockpit. The open cockpit design is intended to allow the occupants to escape easily in case of emergency. When underwater, the occupants breathe air carried in the vehicle through scuba-style diving regulators. Without occupants, the sQuba will surface automatically. The twin water jets mounted on rotating louvers at the front of the vehicle provide steering and lift while it is underwater and the propellers at the rear provide forward movement.

The vehicle’s interior is water and salt resistant so that it can be driven in the ocean. It also comes equipped with a laser sensor system made by autonomous cruise control system manufacturer Ibeo to allow autonomous operation.

The sQuba was presented to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show on March 16, 2008. The existing, functioning prototype cost more than US$1.5 million to build. When the sQuba enters production, they are expected to “cost less than a Rolls-Royce”, according to Rinderknecht. He admits that there will be limited appeal for a car that can dive underwater. The car will be marketed as a “toy for rich people”.

Written by Offbeatism [LMD]

November 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Airbia awesome

Designed by Alexandros Tsolakis & Irene Shamma, Airbia was a finalist in the REBURBIA “A Suburban Design Competition” by Dwell Magazine and Inhabitat for talented designers, architects, and urban planners to contribute their solutions to save suburbia.

Written by Offbeatism [LMD]

October 22, 2009 at 10:59 am

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