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"Sapphire Voyager" Electric Concept Vehicle

I was the initiator and in charge of the overall project coordination as well as the product design. MakerBay, the leading makerspace in Hong Kong, collaborated with Formula E Hong Kong ePrix to be its Education Partner to raise awareness about the importance of electric vehicles. MakerBay designed and built a concept electric vehicle over the summer of 2016 with a group of students and engineers. The car was displayed at Formula E eVillage during the main event, as well as the Gold Coast Classic Car Show.

This was the first 100% made in Hong Kong semi autonomous vehicle. The frame was inspired by the Open Motors (formerly Open Source Vehicle) concept. The autonomy part of the system was developed in collaboration with Science Park Robotics Garage.

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The car does not follow road regulation. It is really intended to be a vision of the future - what a land vehicle could be at the end of the 21st century, when all vehicle are autonomous. The outside is inspired by the cold faceted sapphire, the inside by the warm flexibility and ever-changing movement inside a lava lamp.

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  • No front or back: in the future urban landscape, omni wheels maximize agility
  • No (obvious) door: there car “opens” from the side you approach
  • No keys: face or device recognition
  • No seat: you can seat, lay down wherever you want in the soft flexible interior
  • No belt: self-driving car would have achieved a perfect level of safety
  • No steering wheel: the car is currently android powered. You can trigger self driving by voice command as you would give direction to a taxi driver / or the car would find your next appointment in your online calendar and drive you there. You can activate "manual driving mode” from your mobile phone device, in that case it is essentially like driving with a joystick in a video game

Some have called this concept car the "Iphone of car" as a reference to it's lack of buttons and minimal yet intuitive interface.

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Publication

Towards the ideal self-driving electric car

Autonomous vehicles are about to change how we commute, move our goods, services, energy, cities, countryside, the entire landscape. The day your vehicle will drive itself silently through traffic, what will you be doing? If you no longer have hands on the steering wheel and feet on the pedals, you could be anywhere in the car with the freedom to sleep, relax, eat, work, play and be immersed in a virtual reality beyond the boundary of the vehicle.

Open hardware optimized for software integration

The future of self-driving vehicles will be driven by the quality of the integration of hardware and software with a prodigiously intuitive and intelligent interface connecting machines and humans. For that, we will make hardware that is extremely simple and robust so it can connect seamlessly with advanced software.

Hard outside, soft inside

Our vehicle combines the industrial and the sensual, the hard and the soft, a sculptural marriage of opposites in an iconic timeless design. A cold multi-faceted shell hosting a warm protective cocoon. Performance and strength on the outside, pleasure and freedom on the inside is our vision of the future of mobility.

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