Transportation design student Sung Nak Lee has released the project he completed during his 2019 Honda Internship: a two-seat autonomous vehicle that can turn into a single-seat sports car called the Acura Allure.
The design challenge he set for himself was to consider what the future holds for premium automakers when ownership models change. The answer, according to Sung Nak Lee, is making objects that interact with you emotionally.
As he sees it, ownership has moved from materialism to today’s selective ownership, and will eventually move to ownership of things that will allow us to have an emotional interaction with them.
How does that relate to a car? Well, the Allure wants to create a dual experience for its occupants. It has sort of an hourglass shape that makes the back wide enough for two, lounge-style seats.
Sitting here, you let the self-driving car take over and relax. The idea is to be comfortable and, as Sung Nak Lee’s two emoji people appear to be doing, spending time with a loved one.
The seats, you may notice, are split down the middle. That’s more than just an aesthetic choice. The outside portion of either seat slides forward, making a single, centrally positioned seat, from which you can drive yourself.
The way the car is shaped means you have access to a greater panorama of the outside world and can pick apexes and interact with the machine, rather than someone else.