GM Wins First Place In LA Design Challenge

HUMMER O2

HUMMER 02

GM Advanced Design has won the Los Angeles Auto Show's Design Challenge for the second year in a row. This year's winning entry is a two-dimensional rendering of a 2015 concept that addresses environmental sustainability. Called the HUMMER O2, this design proves that daily use of a vehicle could result in a net gain for the environment.

The 2006 Design Challenge theme is Environmental Sustainability, a challenge for design studios to transform the future of driving into an environmental experience. Contest guidelines also required that vehicle entries be 100-per cent recyclable and have a maximum lifespan of just 60 months. GM's entry is presented as a series of two-dimensional images, not as a 3D model.

Designers at GM's West Coast Advanced Design Studio in Southern California tackled the far-reaching challenge - to develop a concept that resulted in a net gain for the environment. The GM team crafted an entry that surpasses the contest's sustainability principles: the HUMMER O2 Concept.

"The HUMMER O2 epitomises the ethos of the true Southern California outdoors enthusiast with rugged capability, a 'tread lightly' contact system and construction methods promoting safety, accessibility and reusability," said Frank Saucedo, director, GM Advanced Design in California . "Most vehicles in L.A. spend 95 per cent of their time outdoors subjected to sunlight, so why couldn't a vehicle give back?"

To fully understand the HUMMER O2, the GM team believes that terms commonly associated with ecology and biology work best.

Photosynthesis

The HUMMER O2 Concept features a revolutionary phototropic body shell that produces pure oxygen throughout the life of the vehicle. Algae-filled body panels transform carbon dioxide into pure oxygen that is subsequently released back into the environment and inside the vehicle.

"The panels essentially function as the 'leaves' of the HUMMER O2 and effectively clean the air in the surrounding environment," said Saucedo. "Used algae are recycled as biomass for the further production of energy."

Breathing

The HUMMER O2 promotes the production of oxygen by a two-way valve system in the corner of each panel. The sophisticated devices control and monitor the amount of carbon dioxide and source nutrition needed for the algae cultivation while optimising oxygen production and distribution.

Energy

Four modular and self-contained fuel cells power hydraulic motors built into each wheel. A hydrogen tank is placed in an ideal central location for safety and structural purposes, becoming the "heart" of the vehicle.

Footprint

Active Tread TM tyres provide low resistance on the highway while allowing excellent off-road progress as their shape changes - adapting to and protecting the surrounding environment.

Structure

Finally, to further reduce environmental impact, the HUMMER O2's construction specifies the use of 100-per cent post-consumer materials, including an aluminum frame, seats finished with Volatile Organic Components-free (VOC-free) materials and glazing via PETE (similar to everyday consumer packaging, such as soda bottles).

The GM West Coast Advanced Design Studio won the 2005 Design Challenge competition with its GMC PAD Concept, a mobile urban loft designed for the L.A. environment.

2 December 2006 Staff
 

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