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  • 05.07.09

What Will Cars Look Like in 2049?

digg_url = ‘//www.fastcompany.com/blog/ariel-schwartz/sustainability/what-will-cars-look-2049’; digg_skin = ‘compact’; The U.K.’s Royal College of Art recently launched a competition asking students to design the future of Opel/Vauxhall automobiles in 40-years time. Only 19 students entered, but the results are impressive …

future car

The U.K.’s Royal College of Art recently launched a competition asking students to design the future of Opel/Vauxhall (European car makers) mobility in 40-years time. Only 19 students entered, but the results are impressive nonetheless.

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The winning design, dubbed the Opel Darwin 2049, came from Augustin Barbot. Augustin will spend three months working at General Motors European Design Center as his prize. The student’s wheel-less concept vehicle moves either 10 centimeters above the ground or under the sea with a magnetic “maglev” system. Three turbines–two in the front, one in the back–produce energy to propel the vehicle forward. The vehicle features an aluminum frame covered by a semi-flexible, waterproof resin.

It’s hard to imagine that cars of the future will be powered by wind considering our current move towards electric vehicles, but 40 years ago we may not have envisioned plug-in hybrids, either.

Other notable entries in the competition include Hyunjoon Park’s car that molds to a driver’s shape, Young Seong Kim’s pods that use gravity from waterfalls for propulsion (below) and Miika Heikken’s zero-emissions single seat vehicle for cities.

young seongkim

[Royal College of Art via Autobloggreen]

Related: Is It a Car, a Plane? No It’s the Terrafugia Transition, a Bit of Both
Related: The flying car–Give it up already!

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.

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