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Designers of Tomorrow Show Off Concept Cars

Oct. 12, 2007
Students from the College for Creative Studies and Univ. of Michigan created automotive forms for internship program

Inspired by exoskeletons, three automotive concept cars were unveiled in September at the annual American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) automotive design internship event. Design and engineering students from the College for Creative Studies and the University of Michigan created the automotive forms for the internship program, which challenges students to design concept cars with visual appeal directed toward a specific theme (this year's theme: Inside Out). Additionally, students work toward the goal of employing advanced steel technologies to design safe, affordable and fuel-efficient vehicles.

One concept car, the Pontiac Hematon, was inspired by the exposed frame and integrated body parts seen on sports bikes, explains designer Timothy O'Donnell. He says the exposed frame becomes a "visible, reassuring reminder" to the driver that there is a structurally sound, high-strength exoskeleton providing protection.

Pontiac Hematon

Additionally, the chassis incorporates high-strength hydroformed side and rear rails, while a rollover bar connected to a central rail protects the driver from above and allows for the removal of the A-pillars. A steel beam runs from side to side directly behind the occupants' seats.

The AISI internship program is in its 19th year.

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