UPES Student Presents New Frontiers in Vehicle Design
Project Aireon, a four-passenger urban taxi model, is an AI-driven vehicle with a virtual butler that can carry out various tasks such as seat adjustment, temperature and ambience control, entertainment and navigation!
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is a not-for-profit apex national body representing all major vehicle and vehicular engine manufacturers in India.
SIAM works towards supporting sustainable development of the Indian automobile industry with the vision that India emerges as the destination of choice in the world for design and manufacture of automobiles. It works towards facilitating enhancement of the competitiveness of the Indian automobile industry, reducing cost of vehicles, increasing productivity and achieving global standards of quality.
SIAM Automotive Design Challenge (SIAM ADC) is an annual national-level design competition open to all design school students in the country.
Each ADC is provided with a unique brief according to which the students have to design their concepts. After the first round, SIAM chooses top 10 designs from all over the country. Those shortlisted then have to present their final concept in front of some of India’s finest automotive designers, and top three designs among them are selected and awarded.
This year’s brief was to design an autonomous all-electric AI-driven vehicle for the year 2040.
The main idea was to provide an easy-to-go-anywhere automotive solution.
My first step was to research about the major issues with transportation and what could be the plausible prediction of transportation trends in the year 2040.
According to the research, rapid growth in on-road population would be a major issue in the future as it will overpower the rate of infrastructural growth, hence the cities will always be full of traffic congestions.
To overcome this, and provide a quicker mode of transport, I started looking towards air travel for answers and researched about the future air taxis and got to a conclusion of combining the two modes of transport. i.e., land and air.
Project Aireon is a four-passenger urban taxi model that makes for an out-of-the-world travelling experience.
The vehicle is AI-driven and can detect traffic ahead on the route, it then uses its robotic arm-like structures to convert into a flying drone-like arrangement and flies away towards the destination, avoiding the traffic.
Coming to the interiors, the passengers get a virtual assistant which they can call upon by saying “Hello Aireon” out loud and he will be at their service.
The virtual butler can carry out various tasks such as seat adjustment, temperature and ambience control, entertainment and navigation.
After being selected in the top 10, my next task was to refine the concept and make its physical scale model for display.
I used a 3D printer for the same.
I was then invited to the SIAM Conclave at the Auto Expo on February 6, 2020, where I gave the design presentation. Ultimately, top three students were selected and awarded.
(The writer is a student of UPES School of Design)