The Infiniti entry into the annual LA Design challenge is pretty outstanding - blending future-tech with fantasy to answer to question posed by the contest for this year: how will we interact with cars in 2029?
Infiniti's answer? A spinal lock communications system to allow thought-controlled driving and tech functions.
A 'Spinal Tap' if you will -- and this one is just as pretend in many ways than the joke band of the same name.
However, Synaptiq does offer a highly stylized version of future F1 types of cars in its circuit race setting. The flying and off-road sections of the vision seem far less feasible or realistic -- but they definitely 'turn the volume up to 11' ....
The Synaptiq does employ some cool solutions to the theoretical triple-threat race scenario. We love that the open-wheel design would allow such easy conversion from racing tires to gigantic off-road rubber. The flying bit just seems like a leap too far.
2029 Infiniti SYNAPTIQ
Infiniti enters "Synaptiq" in 11th annual Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge
- Infiniti's SYNAPTIQ is a unique human-machine interface, a vision of how people will connect with their vehicles in 2029
- SYNAPTIQ features a modular design using augmented reality, 3D hologram, and wearable technologies
- The SYNAPTIQ driver stays in one cockpit environment for three different vehicles: street, off-road, air race
Los Angeles/Hong Kong: Infiniti has entered the 11th annual Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge with SYNAPTIQ, a unique answer to this year's theme of "Sensing the Future: How Will Cars Interact With Us In 2029?"
Participating for the first time in the Design Challenge, Infiniti designers looked toward the future in which augmented reality, 3D hologram, and wearable technologies may be a part of the everyday driving experience, creating a seamless interaction between man and machine.
To demonstrate exactly how these futuristic technologies could be used to make driving even more interactive, the Infiniti Design team imagined a vehicle "triathlon" called the A.R.C. Race which includes air, rally, and circuit competitions.
For each of the three races, the SYNAPTIQ design provides a universal fuselage for the driver to control each of the different air, rally, and circuit vehicles.
The first is a Formula 1TM-style race car competing in a road course from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Then the driver pilots an off-road racer to the Grand Canyon. Finally, the third portion of the vehicle triathlon is a radical, gymkhana-style jet air race back to Los Angeles, where the driver would maneuver around 3D holographic rings that mark the course.
For each vehicle and race, the driver stays within the same cockpit, allowing them to stay within a familiar environment using the same interfaces. The driver is therefore able to better adapt to any driving or flying situation, as demonstrated with the experiences encountered between the three A.R.C. Race situations and the vehicle types used.
"As designers, we are always looking toward what's next, but SYNAPTIQ allows us to conceptualize what's even further out for drivers in the future," said John Sahs, interior design manager at Infiniti, and leader of the SYNAPTIQ team. "Yet, through the A.R.C. Race concept, we were also able to imagine a way to effectively demonstrate how these technologies could be used, whether the vehicle is on or off road, or even in the air."
The team envisions a modular fuselage on a new human-machine interface that controls the vehicles by connecting the SYNAPTIQ S.U.I.T. (Symbiotic User Interface Technology) through a docking attachment, effectively making man and machine work as one.
Simulating physical interaction with the vehicle, the S.U.I.T. suspends the pilot into the proper position for driving or flying, and is woven with synthetic muscles that both enhance the driving experience and give tactile feedback to the driver.
Inside the fuselage, liquid crystal canopies are enhanced with an augmented reality system that actively display relevant information for the pilot, such as his vital signs and dynamic vehicle updates.
"Our team loved participating in the Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge," added Sahs. "It allowed us to gaze even farther into the future, imaging drive technologies that are futuristic, but are also not that far from reality."
Infiniti's entry for this year's design challenge is joined by several other manufacturer teams. The public has had the opportunity to vote for their favorite Design Challenge entry online (http://laautoshow.com/design-challenge/) as part of the first annual "People's Choice Award."