Swing

The Concept

The Swing is an autonomous car that can alter its seating ergonomy and shape depending on multiple factors. When it’s going at high speed on the highway, it stretches out its wheels for optimal stability. When it parks, it folds in and takes up less than a third of a standard parking spot.

The Background

Over 10 years ago, the MIT Media Lab presented a folding car concept called the CityCar. It could fold its rear wheels to take up less space, and I liked that basic idea. With the Swing, I wanted to take that concept further by integrating autonomous driving and variable ergonomic seating and driving geometry.

How It Works

The Swing has a pivot point in its frame, which makes it possible to fold the car so that its wheelbase gets shorter by around 50%. This would enable the Swing to fit into tight city parking spots. It also means you would technically be able to ride while you were almost standing up if you felt like it. This would allow passengers to get a better and higher view of their surroundings whilst riding at low speeds in a dense urban setting.

This might sound weird, but if car safety increases dramatically, with the autonomous vehicle, it could be fun to ride in this position whilst reading a book or looking out at scenery. For older people or passengers with reduced mobility, it would also prove easier to get in or out from the front. If you prefer, the Swing could remain stretched like a normal vehicle and the seats would adapt accordingly.

Speaking of the seats, they will be made of 20 adjustable cushioned sections of various types of memory foam and ventilation tubes to heat or cool the occupants. These adaptive sections will make it possible for each seat to adopt any shape, including a flat one if you wanted to sleep like in the NightCar concept.

When driving on the highway or at higher speeds, the car would gradually rotate its frame to take on a conventional flat position. The car will be powered by a 200hp hydrogen fuel cell connected to a liquid-cooled electric motor. This power pack will be located between the rear wheels and the cabin. The cabin will have enough room to accommodate two adults and their luggage.

The Designer

I would like to thank Adolfo Esquivel for the great renderings of the Swing shape-shifting car. Adolfo earned an Industrial Design degree from Colombia and completed a postgraduate study on Events Design at the UQAM of Montreal. He currently works as a freelance industrial designer in Montreal. Adolfo also created the design of the Libelule Submarine-ATV and the Sea-Bull wake surfing tugboat concept.

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