Noteworthy design entries for the 2012 LA Auto Show

What To Expect From the Los Angeles Auto Show

The Los Angeles Auto Show is a great shows that marries enough mainstream cars and off-shoot local innovations. What can you expect to see and hear about this year at the car show?

A few noteworthy entries will show how they see our world of transportation going forward. The 2012 Design Challenge entries include the BMW Group DesignworksUSA team chose Los Angeles as the region to create a 2025 scenario for the E-Patrol, Human-Drone Pursuit Vehicle. Their research predicted that Los Angeles would have more traffic, faster vehicles, and vehicles with alternative fuel sources. The design centered on a modular structure and drone technology that enhanced both teamwork and accessibility. The main structure can deploy three drones. In the case of a pursuit during heavy traffic areas, the patrol officer sitting in the two passenger main structure can deploy either the flying drone or one of the single wheel drones to chase the suspect and report back data to the main structure.
 
You will also find the General Motors Advanced Design California where GM has created a new electric vehicle system, the Volt Squad, to meet the challenge of a highway system now brimming with cutting edge technologies. The Volt Squad is a three vehicle fleet, designed around the concept of OBSERVE, PURSUE and ENGAGE. Each vehicle has a clearly defined situational role; delivering superior flexibility, presence and capability for the CHP. At the core of the vehicle's architecture is the VOLT advanced, electronic, propulsion system.
 
Honda R&D Americas, Inc. has its Advanced Design Studios, California. The company has created the CHP Drone Squad, a vehicle-based-system for 2025 designed to work efficiently and seamlessly in the harsh environment of California highways without the need for new infrastructure. The Drone Squad is comprised of a 2 vehicle system. The Auto-Drone operates as a manned or un-manned mission control vehicle which deploys Moto-Drones and can do so on the move. Moto-Drones are un-manned motorcycles capable of being rigged for multiple response or rescue missions.
 
Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. has its Advanced Design Center California where by 2025, law enforcement officers will need to adapt to even more crowded roads with electronically monitored and controlled traffic, a much larger population, and changes in human behavior. As the most environmentally friendly SUV, the "Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force" meets these requirements and helps police and crews around the world. In terms of design, the Ener-G-Force is based on the G-Class; the off-road icon that has been in production since the 1970s, and continues to shape the future as a structurally and technologically advanced SUV.
 
Finally Subaru Research And Development, Inc. will show its grand opening of Hawaii's sparkling new inter-island Paradise Highway, Subaru debuts the cutting-edge SHARC, Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept. SHARC highway patrol vehicles will provide an innovative, affordable, and environmentally conscious solution for 24-hour highway monitoring, protection, and rapid emergency response. Meeting Hawaii's strict UltraGreen carbon-neutral environmental regulations and reflecting a trend for reduced highway patrol budgets worldwide, zero-emission SHARC vehicles are powered by renewable energy and operate autonomously, eliminating the need for a large full-time highway patrol staff.

The Los Angeles entries will be judged by Tom Matano, executive director, School of Industrial Design at San Francisco's Academy of Art University; Imre Molnar, provost and chief academic officer at Detroit's College for Creative Studies; and Stewart Reed, chair of Transportation Design at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design. This year's guest judge, Bruce Meyer, is a board member of the California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation, former racer and past chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum.
   
This is a rare occasion to see how carmakers envisage tomorrow’s driving conditions, in what, where and how. We particularly look for ward to what BMW has to show us, especially in light of its BMW iTour and the introduction of the full-electric i3 and gorgeous plug-in hybrid, PEHV i8 at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Share this content.


Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.