AN AIR-POWERED bike, a flying ambulance and a shape-changing car – these are the vehicles of the future, according to our student designers.
Ten young Australian designers have made the shortlist for the coveted international James Dyson Award, to be announced on November 8.
The international design competition invites students to enter their end-of-year projects or other inventions.
The GMXO Compactable Car, designed by Ali Jafari, solves the problem of fitting cars into small spaces by using a fabric skin that allows for flexible expansion and contraction.
The car can be stretched to take extra passengers or cargo and then compacted again for parking.
Jafari said the shape-shifting exterior fabrics would also be used in the cabin “to create pneumatic interior elements that adapt to the vehicle’s exterior changes and its occupant’s needs as the vehicle expands in a sliding motion”.
The design includes omni-directional wheels, each containing an electric motor to power the car, with the vehicle operating either autonomously or steered with a handheld wireless control.
Jafari said he aimed to tackle pollution, congestion, high fuel prices and the consumption of non-renewable resources.
RMIT student Dean Benstead’s 02 Pursuit air-driven motorcycle explores the use of air as an alternate fuel for the future. Benstead envisions a time when drivers will use air refill stations instead of petrol stations.
A functional prototype has already been developed using the DiPietro Air Engine, developed by Engineair Australia.
“The O2 Pursuit motorcycle has the ability to be directed at off-road riding and city commuting,” Benstead said.
Daniel Dobrogorsky’s Sky Way rapid response vehicle means ambulance drivers would no longer have to battle their way through traffic to reach the scene of an emergency.
The Sky Way air-ambulance is designed to be capable of vertical take-off and landing, and fixed wing aircraft and helicopters is not restricted to large allocated landing zones and runways.
Dobrogorsky says Ambulance Victoria provided feedback during the design process, with emergency response workflows helping to define requirements and decide upon the method of propulsion.