Amazing concept car designs often inspire gadget designers, but sometimes the inspiration flows the other way. Here are three awesome concept car designs from the past 5 years that were inspired by the latest gadgets – both in look and in their embodiment of the idea of the connected car.
Inspired by Volkswagen’s iconic camper van, the Bulli concept car has an in-car entertainment and driver information system that is all controlled and operated by an integrated Apple iPad. The iPad is mounted in a custom dock attached to an extending tilt and swivel arm in the center of the car so that it can be operated by both driver and passenger. The tablet is responsible for all of the car’s “infotainment” functions, including audio, video, satellite navigation and even climate controls. The Bulli, which was first shown in 2011, also has a lithium-ion battery (which can be charged in under one hour), a 113-horsepower electric motor and a Fender-designed audio system.
First shown in 2006, the Urge was developed when Nissan North America Inc. and Microsoft collaborated to design a concept car which combined the latest in automobile design with the latest in gaming technology. The result is the world’s first fully integrated gaming system within a car.
Inspired by Microsoft’s hugely popular Xbox 360 video game console, the Nissan Urge has mobile phone integration, a flip-down LCD screen and, of course, a fully integrated Xbox 360. The console comes preloaded with Project Gotham Racing, and the racing game is actually controlled with the same steering wheel and pedals used to drive the car.
As you might expect, for safety reasons, the Xbox console can only be played when the car is stationary, but nevertheless, Microsoft says that the Nissan Urge delivers an unparalleled driving experience that cannot be replicated in any living room.
Apple fans will be delighted should this Apple-inspired concept car ever become a reality. The hybrid iMove car is the brainchild of Italian automotive designer Liviu Tudoran, who designed it as a student project in 2010. It is, of course, inspired by Apple’s design aesthetic.
Among the innovative features, the iMove includes a touchscreen dashboard interface, solar glass to charge the car and a special photochromic “skin” which allows the driver to actually change the color of the car. The three-seater vehicle also features a removable roof and a door design that offers open access to the iMove’s interior.
Daniel Butler is a contributor to and editor of Vroomvroomvroom.co.uk, a car hire company based in the UK. He is also a keen gadget blogger.