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LA Design Challenge: Qoros Silk Road Vehicle. Image by Qoros Auto.

LA Design Challenge: Qoros Silk Road Vehicle
A car spun from silk? Welcome to 2025.
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What's the news?

The entry from Chinese manufacturer Qoros for the LA Design Challenge is more than just a car; it is an entire ecosystem. Inspired by the silkworm, the Qoros Silk Road Vehicle (SRV) is made from Reinforced Silk Fibre (RSF) that Silk Robots produce from patented Mulberry Qemical. I'm sorry, what?

Exterior

Each two-seat SRV is created by 300 Silk-Bots laying down layer upon layer of RSF into a mould or cocoon. The shape of the SRV comes from an advanced overseer known as The Qloud so theoretically the SRV could take on any shape you like, but for this example it takes the form of an upright box with outboard wheels and no windows. The lack of windows is due to the fact that each SRV communicates with others through a digital Q-Trail transmitter that is effectively a motorised game of follow the leader. The lead SRV lays down a track for other to follow.

Access to the SRV comes via individual seats that slide out of the side of the vehicle. A separate hatch at the rear acts as a storage area, houses an integrated coffee machine and also provides space for the miniature Service Bots that are automatically deployed should the SRV be damaged - to repair it with fresh RSF.

Should the SRV become too badly damaged for the Service Bots to repair the whole car can lowered into a SRV Rebirth Facility whereby it is broken back down to the Mulberry Qemical and the process started afresh.

Mechanicals

Each SRV is powered by 3d-printed super capacitors that are hugely powerful but can also be charged in seconds via overhead Charging Qlouds; mounted above elevated roads these Qloud's determine how much power each vehicle needs by the speed at which they approach and zap the super capacitors with enough charge to progress. Should you find yourself outside of Charging Qloud range the SRV can call upon other SRVs to share their power while on the move.

SRV drivers do not actually own the cars they are driving and merely hail a car from the Qloud via their smartphones. The supercomputer ensures there is always a car close to hand and dispatches it to your location with access gained by touching a panel on the side of the body.

Anything else?

The Silk Road Vehicle was created as part of the 2013 edition of the annual LA Design Challenge, which runs alongside the LA Auto Show. Automotive design studios from around the world are invited to participate and this year, studios from Germany, Japan and the US competed to design "Biomimicry & Mobility 2025: Nature's Answer to Human Challenges."



Paul Healy - 27 Nov 2013


Silk Road System. Image by Qoros Auto.Silk Road System. Image by Qoros Auto.Silk Road System. Image by Qoros Auto.Silk Road System. Image by Qoros Auto.Silk Road System. Image by Qoros Auto.

Silk Road System. Image by Qoros Auto.Silk Road System. Image by Qoros Auto.Silk Road System. Image by Qoros Auto.Silk Road System. Image by Qoros Auto.Silk Road System. Image by Qoros Auto.









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