Toyota NORI entry to LA Design Challenge
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By: Craig Kember, Erwin Lui, Kevin Hunter
Building on Toyotaâ€™s leadership role in creating eco-sensitive vehicles, the NORI concept challenges us to look ahead and create a clever vision that addresses fuel economy, emissions, green materials, new design and manufactured technology, and transforms it into an emotionally appealing design solution.
As the majority of current generation automobiles consist of a chassis covered by attached body panels, the NORI concept presents the idea that the body and chassis are one, as a PODULAR form, designed to be strong, light and beautiful. Bioplastics technology is created using â€œnoriâ€ (the Japanese word for seaweed) combined with a carbon fiber weave for strength. Woven into the PODULAR form are solar cells that capture and generate supplemental solar energy. Â As a holistic solution and new design aesthetic, NORI reduces weight and the number of parts while capturing and generating energy.
At the onset of the DESIGN process for each PODULAR form is a collaboration between designers and engineers, utilizing a â€œreal timeâ€ design envelope to ensure the perfect balance of strength, light weight and design aesthetics. Â This process eliminates traditional design and engineering conflicts of form vs. function, and allows the design/engineering process to come to fruition at the same time.
The PODULAR forms are grown at factories located nearby the sea. Seaweed grows prolifically, and using it as a bioplastics source is an effort to minimalize the impact on the food chain (corn/soy etc) that has previously been used for bioplastics. Â The solar cells are embedded as part of the growing/manufacturing process.
PSIâ€™s (partial shape insets) are utilized to shield or expose passengers to the elements and address vehicle regulations (such as covered wheels), while serving as a new form of personalization. The color/graphics of NORI can be changed through an electronically generated data charge sent into the surface. There are no doors: ingress/egress is achieved by stepping over and into NORIâ€™s PODULAR form.
NORI utilizes four electric wheel motors and a removable battery pack.