Steel E-Motive announce winners of styling competition

Engineering students from Tecnológico de Monterrey won the Student Steel E-Motive Styling Competition with their futuristic design for an autonomous ride hailing vehicle  and traveled to CES 2022 to celebrate their victory.

WorldAutoSteel and engineering partner Ricardo invited engineering students at the  Tecnológico de Monterrey (TEC), Mexico, to design the exterior styling of an autonomous vehicle that demonstrates their vision for future mobility.

In designing our Steel E-Motive concept Mobility as a Service vehicles, we wanted to see how students were envisioning steel in future mobility,” said George Coates, Technical Director, WorldAutoSteel.

“We conducted the competition to gain valuable insight from a generation for whom autonomous mobility as a service will become commonplace and to help the students understand the steel potential in these vehicles.”

TEC was invited to compete thanks to the efforts of WorldAutoSteel member Ternium, Monterrey, Mexico. 

The Cocoa, the winner of the styling competition

Pictured: The Cocoa, the winner of the Steel E-Motive styling competition

The Winning Team’s Inspiration

Six TEC teams totaling 32 students competed. Reflecting the strong interest of young women in Industrial Design, 70% of the TEC participants were aspiring women engineers. The winning team, Andrea García, Sergio Salazar, Regina Sánchez, Sharen Sánchez, and Daniela Marroquín, designed their entry with an interesting influence. The students drew inspiration for their design from cocoa beans.

“The autonomous car is based on conveying the feeling of confidence and stability. Just as the cocoa shell protects the fruit, the autonomous car gives safety and security to the passengers,” they said. “The cocoa plant or cocoa shell acts as a protective capsule for the seed contained inside. Its main objective is to protect from the outside by means of a strong casing.” 

Student Engineers Demonstrate Forward Thinking Around Mobility

The judges told these talented engineering students, “Your design renderings demonstrate the kind of thinking needed for future transportation, as we evolve from driver-centric vehicles to passenger-focused Mobility as a Service (MaaS) vehicles.” 

The winning team attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2022 in Las Vegas. CES–an internationally recognized exhibition with over 2,300 companies worldwide participating–showcases the latest in digital health, food tech, automotive tech, NFTs, gaming, smart home, and more. The scholars experienced the future of mobility and smart city connectivity featured at the show and engaged with displays promoting the latest technology.

The Contest Details

The competition asked the student teams to design a vehicle that met the following criteria: it must use steel as the optimal material solution for future mobility service providers, it must be cost and mass efficient, and it must reflect technology that is deployable from 2030 onwards, such as autonomy and electric propulsion.  

The winning team

Pictured: Team 3, designers of the Cocoa autonomous vehicle styling and winners of the Steel E-Motive Student Styling Competition, pose with their professors and competition representatives at the Monterrey award ceremony.

From left: Rodolfo Barragán, (TEC Dean School of Architecture, Art and Design),TEC Students Sergio Salazar, Daniela Marroquin, Regina Sanchez, Andrea Garcia, Sharen Sanchez, George Coates (WorldAutoSteel), Juan Pablo Pedraza (Ternium), Prof. Mario Menez (TEC) and Prof. Assistant Luis Amaya (TEC)

A panel of judges representing the steel industry and Ricardo design and engineering professionals reviewed the plans. The configurations were 100% virtual, so the students weren’t required to create the hardware, though the design must be feasible for production.  

The competition started in February 2021 and ended in July. The judges announced the winners at an in-person ceremony on the Monterrey campus in October. The winning team designed their car using steel with significant glazing for an open, inviting feeling.  “Steel is a traditional material in the automotive industry,” said the group. “It not only gives us strength but also familiarity and luxury. 

Our thanks and appreciation go out to the students who participated, and Tecnológico de Monterrey professors and leaders who supported this project. 

The Wasp: Team 1. Just as wasps intercommunicate, this autonomous vehicle connects with the user in a comfortable environment where time and space can be used intelligently.

The Connector: Team 2. The Connector is designed to give the user a stable and elegant journey with easy ingress and egress, whilst providing balanced, safe and uniform point-to-point transportation.

WINNER The Cocoa: Team 3. Mimicking the cocoa shell, which provides protection to the fruit, this autonomous vehicle provides safety and security, using a protective steel outer shell with large glazed areas to keep passengers safe and comfortable.

The Kangaroo: Team 4. This vehicle design mirrors the function of a kangaroo pouch, providing comfort and safety to the user without neglecting agility and accessibility,

The Turtle: Team 5.Autonomous vehicles will become an essential part of daily life. This design, based on sea turtle shells, has a rigid structure to protect, whilst providing a “home” where passengers can increase task quality and productivity.

The Dolphin: Team 6. Inspired by the echolocation of dolphins, this concept uses sensory equipment (panoramic cameras, proximity sensors and hyper connectivity) to avoid congestion and navigate its environment effectively.

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