Commonly mistaken for a giant baby monitor or personal massage device – this curvaceous bubble-shaped product is actually one of the most innovative car designs we have seen in a very long time. The kudos go out to 23 year old designer, Xiaowu Huang – a fourth year student from Hainan, China who is attending the Wuhan University of Technology. Huang is studying Automotive Support Engineering and in our eyes, he seems to be one of those “born to do it” cases. He submitted this design to the Michelin Challenge Design Showcase in 2011.
We have affectionately dubbed this vehicle the “pod car”, but it’s actual title is the “ing-q”. The ing-q features a modular design in order to lend itself to a more ecological and efficient production process. The simple silhouette is both cute and compact, but the physical design is not the only thing that makes the ing-q special – part of Huang’s vision is to implement automated intelligence – in other words, this pod car can more or less drive itself! The human driver does have control over the vehicle’s movements via a joystick, but can really act more like a passenger thanks to the vehicle’s innate intelligence. Huang mentions that the risk of collision is diminished thanks to the vehicle’s automatic blind spot detection, vehicle emergency stop, and lane-change indicators; plus, the specially designed wheels function like rolling balls – enabling the vehicle to move in any direction and pivot on short notice.
Whatever the case may be, Huang is definitely a young visionary, and this ing-q pod car is super worthy of a WHOA mention.