Earlier this year, Swedish automaker Saab was saved from the scrapheap by Spyker and a loan from the European Investment Bank. In spite of this, nothing much has changed. The stylish new 9-5 has gone on sale overseas, with the 9-4X crossover following in Q2 2011. And the aging 9-3 trundles on, blissfully unaware that anything has happened.
Korean design student Youngho Jong is looking towards Saab’s future with his 2025 Advanced Warning System Vehicle concept: a rakish, four-door saloon with coupe-like styling. And no headroom, by the looks of it, but that’s a forgivable oversight. More interesting to us, however, is how he used his knowledge of nature and human psychology to come up with a vehicle that isn’t just smart, it’s downright sinister.
Jong’s goal was to design a vehicle that would warn other drivers of impending danger. With his research showing that 50% of vehicles accidents are caused by carelessness, excessive speed and tailgating, Jong wanted to create a car that would warn other drivers to back off and drive with care.
If you are following the 2025 concept too closely, for instance, slits open up in its rear panels revealing amber hazard lights. Patches of the car’s skin also darken, warning you that you are too close. The same amber slips are found on the front and sides of the vehicle. Jong took his inspiration from nature’s Fire Salamander, which uses its bright, menacing colours to ward off potential predators.
Jong also incorporate sharp edges and the colours red and yellow to further emphasises the possible danger. He also mentions that the vehicle’s skin is constructed of a soft, impact absorbing material that reduces pedestrian injuries and vehicle damage in collisions.
All in all, it’s a very clever, if far-fetched solution to a very real problem we face in the world today. The technology isn’t quite there yet, but it’s not too hard to believe that cars twenty years hence will use a system like this. As for the design, I leave the final verdict up to you, the readers.
By Tristan Hankins