Cars without lights
Cars without light – a thought experiment !
It started with a friend of mine and me driving along some road in Shanghai. We saw a car which looked really weird. “Look dude, that car doesnt have any rear lights” my friend said. The car did look strange, until we saw two tiny red lights built into the rear fender. We kept on talking about cars and how the design and shape of cars is formed by using the front and rear lights as part of a distinctive brand design, almost like giving cars a face. Some cars look really friendly, others more aggressive, some seem to be without expression. It appears that car lights have a huge impact on the look of a car, its marketing and influence on consumer choice.
A lot will change ! Self-driving, or some call it “piloted driving” is being heavily pushed by many car makers. Elon Musks predicts self-driving cars on public roads within the next 4-5 years, Ruppert Stadler from Audi seems to believe similar, Google has presented and Apple is announcing self-driving electric cars. China is testing autonomous public busses. I am not going to talk about the changes or advantages which are being advertised for driverless technology. But I do believe it will also have a huge impact on how we “see” (literally) cars, how we evaluate the importance of cars (as means of transportation or as means to show status) and I believe we won´t be needing all those lights anymore.
What ? Cars without lights ? Impossible ? I dont think so. On the one hand new OLED technolgy and laser lighting are evolving quickly; car lights may actually not have to be such a big part of the caro body. On the other had self-driving cas probably won´t need that much light to see others or be seen by others, because the don´t have eyes – they have sensors. The only light I imagine such a new car may have is some ambient lighting to show where the car starts and where it ends – like the backlight around the letters on a an Apple keyboard.
Cars without lights
Either way, I looked at cars around me and thought: What might that car look like if it didn´t need any head or tail lights and more. Trying to imagine what some cars might look like, I asked a collegues to help me try to visualise some (completely randomly) chosen cars.
Is this what cars might look like in the future ?
Can you identify the brands of these cars ? Some are obvious, others maybe not.
What difference would it make, if cars had no lights ? Do lights give cars a face ? Do you think designers will design cars in a completely different new way ?
Cars without lights – a thought experiment.