Volvo's New Shining Star

Volvo’s Polestar helped shape perceptions of the brand’s performance capabilities. Now, Volvo has announced the Polestar 2 which will usher the brand into new, fully electric vehicle territory. The future looks bright if Volvo can indeed follow this guiding start. Check out more on Volvo’s site.

Polestar 2  |  Range Target: 275

Polestar 2 | Range Target: 275

Polestar 2  |  0-60 Time: 4.7 Seconds

Polestar 2 | 0-60 Time: 4.7 Seconds

Prize: Around $45,000   |   First Twelve Months Special Edition $63,000

Prize: Around $45,000 | First Twelve Months Special Edition $63,000

Pioneering Women and Vehicle Design

Artsy’s “The Pioneering Women Who Designed Car Interiors in the 1950s” article highlights the notable contributions and innovations that a group of women designers at GM were responsible for in the mid 1950’s.

The “Damsels of Design” |  photo: General Motors

The “Damsels of Design” | photo: General Motors

More recently, examples such as BMW’s E89 Z4, arguably one of BMW’s best looking vehicles designed to date, was also designed by women. Juliane Blasi and Nadya Arnaout designed the E89’s exterior and interior design respectively. Together they brought far more character and elegance to the series than prior versions. Learn more about their perspectives via the BMW blog interview and in this article in the New York Times. These are just two examples that serve as powerful evidence that the automobile industry only stands to benefit from more diversity. As we move towards the promise of a new Age of Automobility, this increased diversity will be even more essential as an increasing number of perspectives will be needed to address the challenges and opportunities ahead.

On the Line:  Julian Blasi, Exterior Designer for the BMW E89 shapes the outlines of the third generation Z4.

On the Line: Julian Blasi, Exterior Designer for the BMW E89 shapes the outlines of the third generation Z4.

The Z4’s Beauty…Inside and Out:  Nadya Arnaout shaped the progressive, yet classic lines and materials of the E89 roadster interior.

The Z4’s Beauty…Inside and Out: Nadya Arnaout shaped the progressive, yet classic lines and materials of the E89 roadster interior.

Mobility Moment: Designing Interiors for New Purposes

While companies continue to do interesting and beautiful vehicle interior concept work, a wide range of new configurations for accommodating vehicle occupants remains to be explored. As we move towards an new era of Automobility driven by autonomous technology, how might we work or socialize in this new era when we no longer have to be as attentive to the demands of driving that we face today. Take a closer look at a few explorations via IDEO’s Future of Automobility point of view series.

Capturing New Productivity  - How might we design future vehicle interiors that empower occupants to work or connect with others while en route? What might happen to the affordances for manual driving and how might that transition take place?

Capturing New Productivity - How might we design future vehicle interiors that empower occupants to work or connect with others while en route? What might happen to the affordances for manual driving and how might that transition take place?

Work or Play -  New seating configurations enhanced by new forms of ambience that allow for more natural social interactions will evolve as Level 5 autonomous systems become available.

Work or Play - New seating configurations enhanced by new forms of ambience that allow for more natural social interactions will evolve as Level 5 autonomous systems become available.


2019 BMW R1250 GS Adventure TFT Display: Clearly Ahead of the Competition

Many BMW boxer hours have been logged here at the bivouac but the 2019 BMW R1250 Adventure looks to represent a serious step forward in development and refinement. Even coming from the world of the superlative K1600GT, the new telematics and interface options for 2019 seem leaps and bounds ahead. With a crisp and bold Thin-Film-Transistor (or TFT) display, BMW has upped both the functionality and legibility of their displays and they are making them standard across many more models this year. With robust integration of phone features including playing audio and providing turn-by-turn navigation prompting plus a slew of adjustability and informational displays about any given bike setting, this seems like a must have feature that quite a bit of design effort and development has gone into.

Significant Redesign:  The 2019 GSA has a redesigned boxer engine with shift cam technology and a revised powerful TFT display.

Significant Redesign: The 2019 GSA has a redesigned boxer engine with shift cam technology and a revised powerful TFT display.

Heads Up:  The TFT display has been designed for easy access to information and glanceability and configuration.

Heads Up: The TFT display has been designed for easy access to information and glanceability and configuration.

Clearly Ahead:  The display technology works across a variety of lighting contexts.

Clearly Ahead: The display technology works across a variety of lighting contexts.

Building on the Past:  A fond view at the bivouac, the K1600GT’s configurable display is still solid but is starting to age. In its initial instantiation, the clocks always had legibility issues which were addressed to some degree with a refresh. Any such issues on the GS line have been clearly solved with the new the R1250GSA instrumentation.

Building on the Past: A fond view at the bivouac, the K1600GT’s configurable display is still solid but is starting to age. In its initial instantiation, the clocks always had legibility issues which were addressed to some degree with a refresh. Any such issues on the GS line have been clearly solved with the new the R1250GSA instrumentation.

Information Visualization: The Impact of War

Although it has been around for a while, The Fallen of World War II does a fine job of visualizing the sheer number of lives lost during the conflict. It is always sobering to see the scope of the war visualized and pieces like this help us to remain ever mindful of those that sacrificed or lost their lives in a civilian context so that what so that the relative pease we have today is not taken for granted.

CRAFT: Building a Millennium Falcon Scale Model

The modeling techniques reflected in this video are quite impressive. From knowing when to release parts from their moldings to painting and weathering surfaces, several great ways to increase the realism of a model are shown. The lighting and other details in Bandai’s perfect grade Millennium Falcon kit are out of this world as are ModelChili’s work is perfect grade skills.

CRAFT: Topaz Level 5 Signature Detail

Having had the good fortune to have had several modern vehicles in the bivouac’s collection over the years, one thing is clear. Clear coat technology has certainly improved since it introduction the 1980’s. That said, as manufacturers have moved to more water based paints, orange peeling is still prevalent on even the most premium offerings as evidenced in this Topaz Maybach detailing video. There’s something to be said for the masters that have the patience, technique and scientific outlook needed to rectify some of the failings of from factory paint work. He’s to the details and detailers out there!

2019 EyesOn Design Awards

It was a pleasure participating again this year as an EyesOn Design judge at the North American International Auto Show. Congratulations to the award winners on their inspirational work.

 

Best Concept Vehicle  -  Infiniti QX 3 Inspiration Concept 
- Presented by Dassault Systèmes
The judges say: "A new and fresh look that shows extraordinary sophistication and simplicity."

 

Best Designed Interior  Infiniti QX 3 Inspiration Concept 
- Presented by ABC Technologies
The judges say: "True inspiration and functionality."

 

Innovative Use of Color, Graphics or Materials  Infiniti QX 3 Inspiration Concept
- Presented by Axalta
The judges say: "Embodies a modern take on materials while retaining a clean Japanese sensibility." 

 

Best Production Vehicle  Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 
- Presented by Covestro LLC
The judges say: "The next best tribute to the Mustang ... what the car really represents."
 

Ground Control to Major Tom...

Ever wonder what it was like to ride aboard a mighty Saturn V rocket? Well, with Reentry: An Orbital Simulator you can now take on the role of a mission commander and master the procedures followed by those that pioneered spaceflight. Explore the intricate details of famous space craft interfaces and the ingenious approaches to controlling them that worked within the constraints of technologies available at the time of launch.


IDEO's Future of Automobility work included in Cooper Hewitt's "The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility" Exhibition

It is such a pleasure to see work from IDEO’s four part exploration of “The Future of Automobility included within the Cooper Hewitt’s “The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility Exhibit. On view at the New York’s Cooper Hewitt through March 31st, 2019, the exhibit explores how we might move people, things, spaces and information in the 21st Century and beyond. Innovative concepts, prototypes and simulation work exploring how future forms of mobility and new approaches to urban planning might emerge are featured from leading companies working in the mobility domain.

Visitors are prompted to capture their own hopes, needs and desires for future mobility on post-it notes and to place them upon a life-sized sketch of a vehicle designed to support shared mobility.

Visitors are prompted to capture their own hopes, needs and desires for future mobility on post-it notes and to place them upon a life-sized sketch of a vehicle designed to support shared mobility.

Concepts created for the Future of Automobility series exploring moving people, things, spaces and together are on view within the exhibit space.

Concepts created for the Future of Automobility series exploring moving people, things, spaces and together are on view within the exhibit space.