UK design students take autonomous interior challenge

| Transport

Renault design concepts

Industrial design students from London are working with Renault on understanding the impact of autonomy on vehicle interior design.

Renault has collaborated with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London to offer MA Industrial Design students the exclusive opportunity to experience the French car manufacturer’s pioneering Global Design Studios via a unique competition to shape the car interior of the future.

Through the partnership, nine groups of three students studying at the London-based arts college have been tasked with determining how autonomous driving and the result of less driver interaction could impact a vehicle’s interior environment.

The groups’ design concepts will be assessed by an expert judging panel that includes Anthony Lo, Renault’s Vice-President of Exterior Design. As part of Renault’s headline sponsorship of Clerkenwell Design Week 2016 (held 24-26th May), the winning group will be unveiled by Anthony Lo at the ‘Conversations with Clerkenwell’ design discussion that takes place on the evening of Wednesday 25th May.

Autonomous driving is of major importance to Renault, the brand being committed to introducing autonomous driving vehicles by 2020, with the ambition to become the first to offer ‘eyes-off/hands-off’ technology on mainstream vehicles at an affordable price. In April, Renault participated in a unique opportunity to showcase emerging autonomous drive technologies to a select group of European policy makers. The European Union’s 28 Transport Ministers gathered in Amsterdam to sign the Amsterdam Declaration in favour of autonomous vehicles, Renault using the occasion to reveal three ‘Renault Espace Autonomous Drive demonstrators’ which have already been trialed for several hundred hours in ordinary traffic across Europe.

The team of three winning students will be rewarded with an exceptionally rare opportunity to experience a behind-the-scenes placement at Groupe Renault’s Global Design Studios, at the Renault Technocentre R&D facility, near Paris, Here they will be introduced to Renault Design by Anthony Lo, view the advanced future design workshop, meet the studio’s designers and gain hands-on experience with sketching, clay modelling and state-of-the art digital design tools.

James Boyer, Marketing Director, Groupe Renault UK & Ireland, said: “We are delighted to work with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London on this exciting competition, which provides some of the world’s most promising design talent with the rare chance to contribute to the future of autonomous vehicle design and, uniquely, experience a behind-the-scenes insight of how Renault turns a concept into reality.”

Nicholas Rhodes, Programme Director, Product Ceramic & Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL said: “The design of an autonomous vehicle is a major challenge that invites many questions and identifies many problems beyond the purely pragmatic and the infrastructural. The interior design of any such vehicle requires complete rethinking and reframing which brings massive opportunities for new forms of interaction. To be working on such a project with Renault has been a great opportunity and a wonderful experience for all of us.”

Jonathan Newell
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