BMW and MIT Envision Automotive Interiors That Can Change Shape

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                                In the near future car interiors may transcend the limitations of today&#8217;s fixed passenger layouts, capable of morphing into different configurations as desired using adaptable 3D-printed inflatable structures as developed by researchers at BMW Design Department in collaboration with MIT’s Self-Assembly Laboratory.
On display at the V&A for The Future Starts Here exhibition, the collaboration between the BMW Design Department and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Self-Assembly Lab explores the possibilities offered by complex printed silicone assemblages connected with precise pneumatic controls to manipulate volume and shape. The effects are not unlike watching the initial malleable bodies of arthropods as they emerge from larval state. In configurable groupings, the technology is envisioned to offer automotive interior designs the ability to design cars with cabins capable of transforming, adapting, and morphing from one state to another. At the touch of a button, seating could be moved, or even added, to different sections of
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The BMW i8 Roadster Teases It’s Taking Its Top Down

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                                We&#8217;re still harboring lingering longings since our close-up rendezvous in Milan, Italy with <a href=""  rel="noopener noreferrer" data-wpel-link="internal"> BMW&#8217;s last</a> &#8220;tease you now, please you later&#8221; concept vehicle. But where the Concept 8 Series intent was clearly intended to whet the palate, the Munich-based automotive&#8217;s latest teaser showcasing the lines of the BMW i8 Roadster reveals an electrifying peek of a car with more concrete plans.
Take what you already know about the electric hybrid BMW i8, surgically remove the top, and you’ve got the upcoming BMW i8 Roadster. BMW used their social media channels for the announcement, but details are scant and preliminary:
BMW i8 Roadster plug-in hybrid BMW eDrive: energy consumption (combined): 15,4 kWh/100 km. Fuel consumption (combined): 2,0 l/100 km, CO2 emissions (combined): 45 g/km.  Fuel consumption is determined in accordance with the ECE driving cycle (93/116/EC), made up of approximately one-third urban traffic and two-thirds extra-urban driving (based on the distance covered).
The camouflaged profile seems to have kept the
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41,999 Programmable LEDs Turn the Lexus IS Into a Moving Screen

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                                The Lexus LIT is a one-of-kind technological audio-visual experience on wheels – a customized <a href="" data-wpel-link="external"  rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Lexus IS</a> wrapped in 41,999 programmable LEDs engineered to shine attention to the latest song from UK artist Dua Lipa.
Just as an octopus, squid or cuttlefish are capable of dynamically adapting their exterior skin using color-changing cells called chromatophores, the Lexus LIT mimics the color changing capabilities using an enormous array of hand-applied LEDs, the sum capable of pumping out 175,000 lumens of light for an effect not unlike the Disney Main Street Electrical Parade. Each pulsating wave of colorful patterns are synchronized to adapt to music, react to motion, or simply be put into the equivalent of a screen-saver mode for “look at me” attention grabbing display. lexus_lit_is_03_f8f967efff681c098e84f860153cb966292abe63
A music video was a perfect place to launch the LIT IS and working with Dua Lipa allowed the concept to come to life, putting a spotlight on the Lexus IS
The Lexus LIT also sports a "gesture mode' that allows LED animations to be controlled using hand motions.
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The Must See Cars From the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

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                                If there were three takeaways from this year&#8217;s <a href="" data-wpel-link="external"  rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Los Angeles Auto Show</a> they were: 1. SUVs are back with a vengeance, 2. virtual reality is the new marketing tool of choice for auto manufacturers, and 3. matte grey paint is the unofficial concept car color of 2016/2017. Jaguar also unveiled a showstopper electric SUV, 3D printed auto parts/detailing were on display everywhere, Bentley&#8217;s new luxury SUV is as smooth and luxurious as you&#8217;d imagine, and I might have found a strong contender for my next car. There weren&#8217;t as many outlandish concept vehicles at this year&#8217;s show with numerous vehicles already unveiled earlier this year, but the following vehicles left their impression as expressions of design, ergonomics, and future automotive technologies:
divergent3sd-las Divergent 3D Blade Supercar
The retina-tantalizing paint job stopped plenty of passerbys in mid-stride. Closer inspection revealed a supercar that is built based on 3D printed aluminum parts, one powered by a 700 HP engine capable
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Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability Is Turning Tequila Into Car Parts

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                                It was a few weeks ago when Ford Motor Company invited us to take their new <a href="" >Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi</a> plug-in hybrid for a weekend from Los Angeles out to the desert glamor of Palm Springs, through the desert forest of Joshua Tree and back. During that time we put a few hundred miles on the Fusion Energi, a lithium-ion battery powered system aided with regenerative braking, an energy-efficient combination that made refueling a non-issue for the entirety of our desert land expedition.
Ford-Fusion-roadtrip The drive was consistently smooth, if mostly uneventful from behind the wheel – the ride a predictable, “everything is comfortable” sedan experience that suits the model’s intended audience (admittedly our tastes lean more toward the latest GT, the ferociously aggressive Raptor, or even the zippy hatch Fiesta ST when it comes to their stable). Before and during our overnight stops, we found ourselves engrossed with details related to Ford’s sustainable materials lab. Dedicated to the exploration of alternative and renewable sources for existing and
Ford-Debbie Mielewski
The 2015 Ford F-150 seats are made using a high-performance recycled material called REPREVE fiber, one made from 100% recycled materials, including plastic bottles.
Agave – used to make tequila – provides a new source of material in the form of its fibers for Ford's biomaterials program.
Ford Motor Company has formulated new foam and plastic components using carbon dioxide as feedstock, manufactured with up to 50 percent CO2-based polyols. Used in seating and underhood applications, Ford sees the potential to reduce petroleum use by more than 600 million pounds annually.
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The Beauty Is in the Details: 2016 Volvo XC90 Test Drive

The Beauty Is in the Details: 2016 Volvo XC90 Test Drive There we were, lost somewhere amongst the winter-wilted olive groves dotting the gently drifting hillsides of Spain on a stretch of road less traveled than most. We had already spent several hours behind the wheel of Volvo’s newly updated 2016 XC90 in its plug-in hybrid “T8″ iteration, an arctic white review model loaned to us by the Swedish auto manufacturer to test drive for the afternoon on the Catalonian coast, along a serpentine route designed to underline the car’s agility, luxuries, and performance, all against the backdrop of the craggy Mediterranean coastline. Never to complain when given the combination of a new car and an open road, we charged from coastline into the interior of the Spanish farmlands until we realized we weren’t quite sure where to go next. VolvoXC90-Fleet After navigating countless roundabouts (aka auto roulette), threading through numerous toll booths, and even detouring off course for an impromptu off-road test through a dusty conifer forest, the confident plug-in-hybrid XC90 had suddenly lost all willingness to map our course any further, leaving my fellow journalist and I to find our way back to our starting point the old fashioned way following roadsigns (Volvo reps apologized, explaining the navigation system was still being fine tuned). Despite the technological setback, neither of us found much reason for concern. Our bemusement of our predicament was born after two days driving the new Volvo, during which time we discovered our 4-wheeled Scandinavian friend sported a surprising amount of comfort and safety features quietly integrated into its handsome, understated design. If there was any vehicle to find yourself lost in the countryside of a foreign country driving, the Volvo XC90 was the ideal vehicle.
Volvo flew out groups of automotive, design, and lifestyle journalists to an empty seaside town off the coast of Tarragona, Spain, turning a whole resort into one giant Volvo showroom.

Volvo flew out groups of automotive, design, and lifestyle journalists to an empty seaside town off the coast of Tarragona, Spain, turning a whole resort into one giant Volvo showroom.

The last time the XC90 was gracing the roads as a brand new model Nelly and Nickelback were still topping the music charts*. But good things come to those who wait, and it seems Volvo bided their time carefully, waiting to refresh their top-selling vehicle with a slew of interior, exterior, technological, and performance improvements all designed to instill the sort of thankfulness for the inanimate proselytized by Marie Kondo. Everywhere details – great and small – seemed to communicate the premise this was to be a lifetime partnership between car and owner, where driver and materials would age gracefully together.
Tisha Johnson, Volvo's Chief Designer of Interiors presenting a primer about the design culture of Sweden.

Tisha Johnson, Volvo’s Chief Designer of Interiors presenting a primer about the design culture of Sweden.

The DNA of all three Volvo Concept Cars – the Concept Coupe, Concept XC Coupe, Concept Estate – were integrated into the new Volvo XC90.
It might be seem a small detail, but the inclusion of the Swedish flag was one debated as perhaps too flashy. In the end, it was deemed representative of the Volvo's commitment to honor the country's design heritage.
Volvo's Technology and Product Communications Manager Jim Nichols pointed out this most smile-inducing of hidden details located on the underside of the rear seat compartment lid. Interior designers were forced to utilize a "spiderweb" pattern to reinforce the lid's structure; they decided to add a spider for the joy of surprise.
The Volvo XC90's LED headlamp array is shaped in honor of the Norse thunder god's weapon of choice, the hammer.
The XC90's interior cabin is a harmonious confluence of warm wood veneer, the cool touch of metal, and premium leather (seat firmness adjustable by the touch of a button). Leather stitching, surrounding wood grain, and the perforations dotted across the speaker grill all invite a directional flow both visually and with the tactile experience in mind.
Though the XC90 comes equipped with a 9" touchscreen panel display, Volvo designers respected that even in the era of touch-swipe a dial and button are still the superior interface for control while driving.
The XC90's gearshift lever is made of crystal made by Swedish glassmaker, Orrefors. This is about as ostentatious as the Swedes get!
One of the 1,927 First Edition XC90 key fobs made to honor Volvo's founding date. The attention to detail and material reminds us of the uber-exclusive Vertu Constellation.
The diamond-cut knurled controls for the start-stop button and volume control offer drivers a pleasant tactile hint they're twisting, turning , or pressing the right control without taking eyes off the road.
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