Self-driving taxi concept wins Ford award for new designers

A Staffordshire University student has won a design award from Ford for their self-driving taxi concept.

Marius Lochner won the New Norm Mobility Award, which challenged design graduates at UK universities to develop mobility concepts that consider the changing world that is occurring because of Covid-19.

The self-driving taxi concept was chosen because it ‘puts the priority on secure individual mobility, enabling people to travel where and when they want in comfort’.

Dubbed ‘muvone’, the concept has a minimalist interior with flat, easy-to-clean surfaces that can be disinfected between journeys. It’s also easily accessible for senior citizens and people with restricted mobility.

Chris Hamilton, chief designer at Ford of Europe, said: “The Covid-19 crisis has greatly influenced our lives, changing the way people and goods move, and creating a ‘new normal’ for everyone.

“This requires new ideas for apps, features, designs and mobility, at a time when the vehicle is a preferred private space and personal health is more important than ever.”

The award was run in partnership with Top Gear Magazine, and editorial director Charlie Turner was on the judging panel. He said: “The breadth and creativity shown in the entries for this challenge was deeply impressive and articulated the true depth of next-generation talent coming through the education system. However, it didn’t make picking a winner easy at all.”

Lochner has won £1,000 as well as a semester of mentoring from Ford of Europe designers.

The competition’s runner up was called Halo Project. An app-based concept, it allowed users to pick their mode of transport based on safety rather than journey time.

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