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    Self driving taxi "muvone concept" wins Ford award

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the way people handle day-to-day activities, people are continuously looking for ways to innovate and adapt to the so called "new normal."


    Now, a transport design graduate from Staffordshire University in the U.K. has developed a unique solution that could help people—particularly those with restricted mobility—get around safely and securely while also adhering to social distancing.


    Developed by Marius Lochner, the "muvone concept," recently bestowed the Ford “New Norm Mobility Award," is a self-driving taxi for one that puts the priority on secure individual mobility, enabling people to travel  in comfort where and when they want.


    Muvone concept


    “The COVID-19 crisis has greatly influenced our lives, changing the way people and goods move, and creating a ‘new normal’ for everyone,” said Chris Hamilton, chief designer, Ford of Europe. “This requires new ideas for apps, features, designs and mobility, at a time when the vehicle is a preferred private space and personal health is more important than ever.”


    The “muvone” concept features a basic, minimalist interior with flat surfaces and easy-to-clean materials so the vehicle can be disinfected between journeys. Designed to enable greater social inclusion at a time when disabled people need it most, the ease of accessibility makes “muvone” highly suitable for senior citizens and people with restricted mobility.


    The award is part of the “New Designers Awards” – the largest design graduate show in the U.K. – open to students graduating in design. This year, the show was held virtually.


    For his winning concept, Lochner receives £1,000 (PHP62,000), plus a semester of mentoring from Ford of Europe chief designers Ernst Reim and Sonja Vandenberk, who were part of the judging panel along with Hamilton and Amko Leenarts, Ford’s European director of Design.


     


    Muvone concept


    “The breadth and creativity shown in the entries for this challenge was deeply impressive and articulated the true depth of next-generation talent coming through the education system. However, it didn’t make picking a winner easy at all,” said Charlie Turner, editorial director of Top Gear.


    As a smart vehicle for a smart world – one that puts the focus on the privacy and security of the individual – “muvone” sits very closely with Ford’s human-centric approach to design. The concept’s welcoming design language, thoughtful branding and suitability for use with current urban infrastructure helped elevate it above the other entries.


    Photo/s from Ford

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