Mercedes-Benz F 015 Concept: This groundbreaking concept bravely explores how vehicles as we know them today may be transformed by the coming age of "automobility." The concept demonstrates the importance of designing holistically for a new category of vehicles made possible with the emergence of an autonomous vehicle fleet. Unique affordances for communicating intent to pedestrians, interior privacy, new interior configurations, and new ways to work with digital content all make this design particularly noteworthy. — Danny Stillion, executive design director at IDEO CHRISTIE HEMM KLOK/WIRED
Wired: Behold the Best-Designed Cars of 2015
THE AUTO INDUSTRY is in a transitional era. Consumers expect their cars to do everything their smartphones do, so automakers are adding more and more features to keep us coddled and connected even as they take the first steps toward the day robots do the driving. This presents an increasingly tricky challenge: Incorporating sophisticated infotainment systems and apps, complex semi-autonomous technology, and myriad other features without making the car confusing, overwhelming, or distracting.
Meanwhile, exterior design is ever more homogeneous. Fuel economy requirements demand efficient aerodynamics, and because everyone must adhere to the laws of physics, it’s hard to design a car that’s both sleek and original. Safety standards—another set of rules and regulations everyone must follow—also make it hard to stand out.
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Editor: My personal favourite is the Mazda RX-Vision Concept.