Manufacturing News from the Engineered Designer Perspective

Renault’s autonomous float hover car by Yunchen Chai may be the automobile of the future — winner of a design competition from Renault

Yunchen Chai’s autonomous float hover car won big with Renault at a contest for innovative design. Could this be the future of the automobile? Conceptually interesting, it’s probably far-fetched to assume this concept could be anything but far-future. The contest theme was “new age of autonomous driving” and clearly, Yunchen Chai took the concept to the next-level with Maglev technology.

 

Yunchen Chai’s winning design uses Maglev Technology — like Tesla’s hyperloop — in place of wheels. The concept design would be autonomous and electric.

 

Based on the same technology as Tesla’s conceptual hyper-loop, and the high-speed rail in Japan, the Renault float car would seem to only have a future if all the roads it travels on can somehow be engineered with magnets in mind. Until then, a more discrete and useful purpose might be to adapt this to transit along new purpose-built magnetic lines. Regardless, it’s a concept car, and as such, these details can come later.

 

The big winner

It’s a designer and design-engineer’s dream to win big with a car company. Cai spent two full weeks in Renault’s design studies in Paris. Dubbed the “Float” her concept employs electric power, autonomous driving, and connected technologies — all three priorities for Renault. She just took the concept one step further with Maglev tech.

 

Could this be the future of car design? Using Maglev technology, the Float won the Renault “future of the autonomous car” design contest.

 

The judges for the competition were Anthony Lo, Renault’s Vice-President of Exterior Design and François Leboine, Renault’s Chief Exterior Designer along with Central Saint Martins programme director Nick Rhodes.

 

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