This electric autonomous ferry is the future of emission-free public water transportation!

Mobility and transportation are rapidly changing to become greener in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. From electric cars to sustainable yachts, talented teams are working in every transport category to provide a better alternative. One such project is the CAPTN Vaiaro which proposes two autonomous electric ferry concepts that offer a glimpse into the future of the industry. The team of designers developed CAPTN under the coordination of Kiel University in Germany because the concept was designed keeping the port city of Kiel in mind.

The city of Kiel is quickly turning into a bustling hub which is posing a challenge for city planners who want to make the public transportation network more efficient while still being aligned with the city’s climate goals. They are anticipating a spike in the ferry traffic between the west and east shores of Kiel Fjord and therefore need a solution that can keep up with the growth while also running on clean energy. Those two conditions are fulfilled by CAPTN Vaiaro, which stands for Clean Autonomous Public Transport Network, as it is specifically designed to integrate the ferry crossing into the city’s clean mobility network. The two different elements – the ‘floating platform’ and the ‘passage’ – allow for rapid carriage of buses and cyclists/pedestrians across the Fjord.

Using electric propulsion, the ferries make public transportation quiet and emission-free with electricity from renewable sources. The autonomous operation also will increase the frequency of service significantly. The ferry is designed to be available on-demand at all times, and operation is possible around the clock, every day, with integrated smart tech. The design addresses the entire mobility chain, specifically connections between bus and ferry services, to increase efficiency.

CAPTN’s team goes beyond the designers and includes several scientists and working groups from Kiel University, Kiel University of Applied Sciences, Muthesius University of Fine Arts & Design, as well as representatives from politics, administration, and industry. It also was one of the winners of the iF Design Talent Award 2020 and the jury described this project as one that takes a highly creative and innovative approach to public transport, imagining how a car-free city can nonetheless span two sides of a major waterway. CAPTN’s motto is ‘making innovations visible,’ and it shows!

Designer: Simeon Ortmüller, Vincent Steinhart-Besser, Yigang Shen, Jingyue Chen, and Tobias Gehrke

This bicycle’s loop frame was designed to be easily dismantled, making it a lighter, smoother ride!

Many people who live in cities rely on bikes as their main means of transportation. City bikes are designed to be intuitive for smooth, easy rides. When coasting between traffic and stoplights, a city bike ride should feel lightweight and nimble. Through a unique approach in designing his city bike, Gaëtan Francq created Loop, a compact city bike whose parts were developed around the bike’s looped frame to deliver a fully-contained, sleek ride.

As eye-catching as Loop’s frame might be, the city bike from Gaëtan Francq Studio comes through with a lot more perks. Starting out with Loop’s handlebar, which comes packed with Bluetooth connectivity, the city bike’s simplified GPS is contained here to ensure riders won’t lose their way in new cities or on unfamiliar roads. Just below Loop’s handlebar, a storage compartment fills out the bike’s looped saddle tube, allowing riders to bring items like bottles of water or even wine along with them for the ride. With Loop, there are no more excuses for showing up empty-handed to the party.

Designed for the concrete jungle, the designers behind Loop equipped the bike with a powerful brake system called Wilwood, which can easily be replaced and worked for maintenance since Loop was also designed to be readily dismantled whenever necessary. Along with some of the best brakes in the game, Loop’s 26-inch wheels prop riders up to a familiar height for a relaxed ride. Lightweight and easy to handle, each one of Loop’s components is constructed from aluminum alloys in order to optimize the light feel of the city bike.

Loop comes with all the goods you might need for an easy city ride– GPS, speed and temperature updates, a storage compartment, and an ultralight frame. The unique looped structure of the city bike’s frame was designed to turn heads as you pass them by on the street, but also to simplify the whole body of the bike, making for an elemental city bike that looks polished, versatile, and uncomplicated.

Designer: Gaëtan Francq Studio

Loop’s handlebar contains all the information you might need for a long ride through the streets of the city.

Through different ideations, Gaëtan Francq Studio ultimately created a bike centered around its loop frame.

Loop’s aluminum alloy frame went through thermal hardening to limit its elasticity.

26-inch wheels allow riders to enjoy a familiar seated height.

Loop’s digital handlebar display signals riders of the outside temperature and time, along with the bike’s speed mileage.

Slim handlebars enhance the city bike’s overall sleek look.

Easy to disassemble for maintenance, the city bike’s design was developed around its main aluminum loop frame.

Loop comes equipped with a Wilwood brakes system for quick brake-response time.

Minimal chains and an airy design give Loop a cool, clean finish.

The bike’s main storage compartment is located just below the seat.

Through a process of thermal hardening for aluminum frames and steam curving for wood frames, the Loop structure maintains a durable combination of rigidity and flexibility.

Mercedes-Benz’ new electric scooter has a mileage of over 3100 miles – hello zero emissions!

As we continue to move towards a cleaner and sustainable future, automakers around the world are doing their best to switch over to electric vehicles. Mercedes-Benz has spent the past couple of years developing electric mobility concepts and it has finally unveiled its own fully-electric scooter which accelerates our zero-emissions journey – at least for short distances and especially for city dwellers. Longevity is at the core of this e-scooter, it uses high-quality components and materials to give the user a mileage of over 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) which allows for more freedom when it comes to micro-mobility solutions.

Mercedes-Benz has launched this EV in collaboration with a Swiss scooter specialist, Micro, to make this e-scooter sleek, strong, and efficient. It features an electric motor with a maximum 500 W power which allows the scooter to accelerate to a speed 20 km/h (permitted in Germany) while the 7.8 Ah battery gives a range of up to 25 kilometers. This lets users travel with speed, comfort, and security. The kickboard is wide enough to have plenty of room for both feel and has a non-slip coating for more stability. The e-scooter has front + rear suspension and comes with 20 cm diameter rubber wheels that effortlessly handle uneven surfaces like cobblestones making it ideal for short urban commutes.

The electric scooter also features a retractable steering column that is adjustable to the rider’s height making it a popular option in the market. The handlebars are ergonomically designed with the accelerator on the right and brake on the left as well as an integrated bell. It has a rear drum brake and a foot brake on the protective plate for added riding security. The compact scooter also includes front and rear lights along with the side reflectors so the user can ride it in traffic at any time of the day. There is a display in the center that shows the speed, battery level, and riding mode – this is also all synced to the user’s mobile app for the electric scooter.

The best part is that you can fold the Mercedes-Benz e-scooter using a simple mechanism operated with just a press of the foot. To make it more streamlined and easy to carry, the handlebars also fold down. The e-scooter weighs around 29 lbs (13.5 kg) making it portable and convenient. Let’s kickstart our zero-emissions journey with a touch of a luxury automaker!

Designer: Mercedes-Benz

Be socially distant and still use public transport with this driverless tram!

Is anyone else feeling trapped because they are scared to use public transport? I don’t have a car because I have lived in a city all my life, so I could get everywhere using public transport but now with the pandemic going on I have been only going to places that are at a walkable distance and that really limits me. A design studio understood this problem and took it upon themselves to come up with an innovative solution for a crowded city like Hong kong – how can you make people comfortable with public transport again?

Answer: Island! This is a conceptual a double-decker driverless tram designed for the city of Hong Kong to be used in the post-pandemic era. Island is an exemplary blend of industrial design, transportation design, public design, urban mobility, and sustainability. Using public transport is crucial to keep pollution levels low especially when the virus going around attacks your respiratory system first. Making sure that public transport facilitates social distancing was also given the utmost importance during the design process. “We wanted to reimagine public transport in the post-COVID era from a prevention perspective. Especially in the densely populated city of Hong Kong, where social distancing is hard to achieve. The idea of designing a tram is no coincidence: trams are one of the city’s landmarks and the tramways celebrate their 115th anniversary this year. The concept of social distancing, which limits people’s freedom to move and interact became the design challenge and focal point for the new concept,” says the design team as they explained the process and challenges.

The driverless technology optimizes the interior space of the tram, making it easier to manage travel times and increase onboard safety. The design was named Island as the interior of the tram hosts large circular benches that let passengers practice social distancing and sit facing outwards in a radial pattern. The charcoal black walls and wooden floors add a luxurious touch that makes you want to use the public tram and feel comfortable while doing so. Its exterior aesthetic is inspired by the urban landscape of the iconic city that is known for its tall glass buildings. The curved windows and domed top allow plenty of natural light inside during the day while giving an unobstructed glimpse of the views at night while large vertical LEDs provide visibility in all weather conditions. It includes a retractable connector for rapid charging at tram stops. Even the stops have been created to replicate the minimal design with sleek and clean lines. It has been kept open on both sides to allow passengers to maintain more distance, move freely, and have natural ventilation for a healthier environment. Let’s rethink public spaces and use design to make them great (and safe) again!

Designer: Ponti Design Studio

Segway’s newest flat-pack e-scooter is the answer for sustainable city-commute

When life as we used to know it resumes, the one thing I wish would not change from the pandemic time period is having lesser street traffic. If you live in a city, you can feel the difference in the air, clarity of the sky, reduced noise, and the fact that you aren’t stressed about driving on congested streets! It has shown us that reducing the number of vehicles on the street has a positive impact on our environment which is also better for our health. Realistically, we can’t keep vehicles off the roads but what we can do is adopt energy-efficient alternatives like Segway’s Ninebot KickScooter Air T15 – easier for your commute and easier on the planet!

This award-winning e-scooter was designed keeping in mind the needs of someone commuting daily in a city. Thus it was made portable, lightweight and since it literally folds in half, it is an extremely convenient option. Segway is already a global leader in electric mobility and they are not only upping their tech but also their design game with this scooter. The Ninebot KickScooter Air T15 is seamless, compact, and minimal in its form. The Air T15 team spent over SIX years (nearly 12,500 hours) perfecting its ergonomic design using the lightest yet the most durable material for a sleek and futuristic aesthetic without compromising on reliability and power.

With one click you can fold the scooter into half and the 6-axis sensor embedded in the dashboard will detect the operation mode which will help to turn the power off automatically. Once folded, you can drag it smoothly like a suitcase with wheels. The body is created using an aluminum-magnesium alloy to keep it lightweight yet strong enough to keep up with its performance needs. The material used makes the scooter splash-proof, corrosion-resistant,  and eco-friendly. One of the features that really make it stand out in terms of being energy efficient is the regenerative braking system that turns your e-scooter into a vehicle powered by electricity by using the recycled energy from riding. The wheels are able to transform the energy that is captured during braking into power and to store it in the integrated lithium battery pack.

We love the attention to detail that the design team has showcased through every element in the scooter. The retractable handlebars cooperate with the smooth, linear design, and the use of silica to make them ensure comfort. It also features a bezel-less monitoring dashboard that is intuitive to use and elevates your commute experience with its integrated design. Continuing on the road to better the UI and UX, the team placed the DIP switches on the rear fender for users to power on/off, control the light, and change the riding modes with ease. For a little fun element, the LED light bar on the front has different color settings while adding functionality to the overall design.

Choose from four riding modes based on your needs and environment – Pedestrian Mode, Energy-saving Mode, Standard Mode and Sport Mode with a preset speed limit of 3.7 mph (6 km/h), 6.2 mph (10 km/h), 9.3 mph (15 km/h), and 12.4 mph (20 km/h) respectively. Keeping with the times, Segway’s Ninebot KickScooter Air T15 comes with its own app that is available on iOS and Android with the integration of Bluetooth connectivity, customize LED ambient light colors, live riding stats dashboard, and more. With a scooter this smooth and smart, you can adapt to environmentally-friendly commuting with ease and actually make your journey to sustainable living fun!

Designer: Segway-Ninebot

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Jaguar just released a 4-part masterclass on their car design process!

Hosted by Jaguar’s designers, the 4-part series gives an insight into Jaguar’s design process, while the last video is a fun, DIY-home edition of an automotive clay modeling session using tools and implements you’d find around your house.

The first three episodes of the Masterclass guide us through how an idea is translated into a final product, with the first step being sketch ideation. Led by Chief Creative Designer Dominic Najafi, the episodes show the gradual progression of the Jaguar I-Pace on sketch, before being taken to the Photoshop rendering level by Matthew Beaven, Chief Exterior Designer.

The third film follows Chris Scholes, Senior Alias Modeller, as he then proceeds to take those 2D renders and develop them into immaculate 3D surfacing using Autodesk Alias. While we still await the fourth part of the series, which looks at transforming the 3D model into believable renders, courtesy CG Artist Elliot Brett from the Design Visualization team, Jaguar released a fun video of its designers working with automotive clay at home, using everything from rolling pins to potato peelers to build clay-models of Jaguar’s automobiles!

Watch the videos below!

This WWII fighter jet-looking electric bike blends futuristic design with Japanese details

Electric bikes usually have a futuristic aesthetic and its very rare that an e-bike evokes a sense of nostalgia while fitting within modern times. That is what makes the Katalis EV.500 electric motorcycle special, it is inspired by a WWII fighter aircraft that brings power without pollution. A dear friend described this design as ‘steampunk without the steam’ and we couldn’t agree more.

A Jakarta-based design and branding studio that has expertise in the field of mobility has designed this fighter jet-like electric bike in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, the pandemic influenced the people of Indonesia to be more mindful of their health and make changes in their lifestyle that made the environment around them cleaner – in terms of germs as well as pollutants. There were 3 core variables – 1) freedom in access to mobility 2) happiness 3) pollution-free vehicle. The Katalis is a custom build of a Selis Garuda electric motorcycle injected with the adrenaline of a wartime pilot. The aesthetics are unlike those of a traditional electric bike – the design team got rid of the existing frame and replaced it entirely with a new body made of series 6061 aluminum which gives it the military visual appeal highlighted with Japanese design details while being kind to the planet.

“We think it is quite rare to have an electric motorcycle design that has a metal body or shield,” says Julian Palapa, principal designer at Katalis company. “Furthermore, the rider of this electric motorcycle will also be spoiled by various retro-style yet functional instrument panels — from an analog voltmeter to the light switch.” Katalis hopes that building a custom electric bike while being in lockdown inspires more young designers to channel their energy into boosting their creativity.

Designer: Katalis Company

This modular Polestar concept opposes every traditional automotive form

We see a lot of concept models of cars and bikes, but very few designers go beyond that in a bid to improve the rest of the automotive sector. Polestar OnTour is a concept trailer that is straight out of the future! It was born out of the need to make loading and unloading a more convenient process in larger trailers or trucks. And trailers, in general, also needed an aesthetic makeover so while the team was onto making the functionality better, they also made the form 10x cooler than the usual trailer that we see on the roads….and it looks nothing like any automotive shape we’ve seen!

This conceptual Polestar is a 10-wheeler modular trailer that can fit the different needs of different industries. It comes with a small-tall container, medium container, and a construction set-up too. The flexible trailer ring makes it easy to load or unload cargo and also change out containers without the effort it would take had it been a traditional trailer. The sloping windshield is something that really stands apart from the stereotypical trailers we see. It looks like it glides on the highway despite the fact that its rectangular, forward-leaning shape can slow down the speed. Because of its versatile containers, it can be used to transport mass shipments in crisis or even serve as an everyday warehouse truck.

The design of the Polestar is sleek and angular but the edges are rounded off – makes it look less like a sharp, evil container on wheels and more like a futuristic tour bus! While Polestar is still a conceptual trailer, it resembles many modern electric automotive vehicles and it would be brilliant to have a large electric trailer so we can reduce the environmental impact of the product transportation and shipping. We all know the amount of Amazon packages we order and it would be cool to see a Polestar trailer pull up at the warehouse instead of the fuel-burning old truck. Volvo, are you listening?

Designer: Bruno Arena

These futuristic automotive design concepts evoke nostalgia with their retro aesthetic

The year 1886 is considered to be the birth of the modern car, as in that year, German inventor Carl Benz built a modern automobile called the Benz Patent-Motorwagen. And look at the designs now! Electric meets retro designs, this is the trend that we are seeing as we create this round-up of the most innovative automotive designs. Each car design is not just a design, but actually is a prediction of the trends we will see in the design industry as well as the path the society as a whole is progressing towards. Featuring an abundance of technology – whether it is autonomous driving, relaxing or heart racing with edgy designs this post includes some stunning looking and performing automobiles we can’t wait to get a ride in!

Bentley Electric EXP 100 GT Concept shows a fully electric luxury gran turismo designed to show what the company’s models might look like in the year 2035

Inspired by the BMW Isetta from the 50s, the Microlino does a rather wonderful job of looking cute, but at the same time also looking road-friendly by  Micro Mobility 

Peugeot e-Legend is a retro-styled concept with a design inspired by the classic 504. It’s a three-box design with an electric powertrain that produces 456 hp (463 PS / 340 kW) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque

The Eadon Green ‘Black Cuillin’ Coupe is a bespoke coach built by the luxury Grand Tourer by CURVE Vehicle Design 

Concept Chariot is a fascinating single-seater with a dual identity by designer Yi Dong

The AKO is an electric inverse leaning trike designed with two wheels on the front and one on the back by Team AKO 

A Modern Twist on a 1,200 HP Austro Daimler Bergmeister PHEV by Projekt Austro Daimler

The minimalism-inspired H500 sedan concept created as a collaboration between Pininfarina & Hybrid Kinetic 

McLaren Concept E-Zero is an all-electric model takes design inspiration from the McLaren M6GT from way back in 1969

The Honda Skyroom concept displays the outside sky to the inside of the cabin through the cylindrical opening that frames the sky above by Dahye Jeong