Driving culture is a complex one. Our habits are, of course, formed by our emotional state, traffic and road conditions, the weather, but also by a combination of other elements. The design of the vehicle for one – the colours, textures, lighting, smell and sound inside the car – even the type of energy that propels the vehicle can impact on how we drive.
There is much study being carried out to see if a clean, zero-emission car can impact positively on road users, if a sustainable car can help us become more caring drivers. In much the same way, would an interior that works with imaginative recycles, upcycled and vegan materials navigate us towards being better world citizens?
As the car becomes much more than a vehicle for transport, as it evolves further into being this extremely intelligent and complex product, it is crucial that carmakers look at these areas to see how the car can help transform our lives and ultimately societies for the better.
With this in mind, Hyundai has gathered a collective of engineers, designers and inventors from outside the auto world to contribute their thoughts by challenging our senses at the pop-up House of Hyundai in London. The space also includes Project IONIQ – an initiative that brings together researchers and academics to look at the future of mobility through this advanced electric car to include issues such as connectivity, climate, ageing societies and social anxiety.
One of the more interesting propositions comes from Borre Akkersdijk, a textile innovator whose laboratory ByBorre is developing a new interface between humans and computers to include cold plasma technology. Akkersdijk believes that textiles make an ideal base component for connectivity, and that connected technology shouldn’t be an afterthought and clunky, as is often the case now, but rather woven into the fabric at the manufacturing stage. He reveals a child bodysuit prototype that can help clean air pollution, and in terms of car relevance, ByBorre’s technology could also make the car seat of the future cleanse its immediate environment.
Other notable exhibits include Black Bee Films who are re-imagining the old-school paper road map for the socially connected digital generation. Here they combine cinematography principles with drone filming to reveal the UK’s most exciting and interesting driving road that can be shared on a connected platform.
Elsewhere, Spotify compiles the ultimate driving playlist for you, whilst perfumier Sarah McCartney’s hand-crafted perfumes offer personalised in-car scents. And for a rather curious take on the traditional car sweet, Candy Mechanics’ mini candy factory combines 3D printing technology with food production to create sweets modelled on anything, in this case our heads! Sadly the queue on the night I visited was too long to wait for my bespoke candy head!
House of Hyundai does raise some interesting ideas, yet as with many of these projects, the result is a mixed affair – some offering more inventive and relevant solutions than others.