At the 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France last month, Michelin recognized the winner of the "2017 Michelin Challenge Design Le Mans 2030 Design" competition. With his interpretation of what a Le Mans Prototype car from 2030 will look like, the winner was Tao Ni from China with "INFINITI Le Mans 2030."
Automobile Club l'Ouest (ACO) president Pierre Fillon recognized Ni during the annual ACO Press Conference before the Le Mans race. Fillon joined Pascal Couasnon, global director motorsport Michelin, in unveiling a model of Ni's winning design of an INFINITI LMP1 prototype capable of switching from driven to autonomous mode.
Over 1,600 registrants from 80 countries were received for the Michelin competition, which was judged by a jury of top automotive design executive and studio heads from Nissan, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and PSA.
Royal College of Art
Tao Ni, 26, was born in China and achieved an industrial design bachelor degree from Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in 2013. After that, he did an internship and accepted a work offer at Volvo Group Shanghai Design Center. He then moved to London to continuously study vehicle design at the Royal College of Art and achieved a master degree in July 2016.
"Our generation is growing in a huge revolution, which is pushed by the Internet and artificial intelligence development. Computers connect people, making life faster and more convenient, but someone also worried about how AI will (interact with) humans in the future.
"The 2030 Le Mans 24 Hour should not only use more high technologies and be more exciting, but also be safer. Motorsport is quite similar to space exploration; both of them are challenging the limits of humans and technologies. So 2030 Le Mans must match those points.
"Le Mans 24 Hour is an all-day and all-weather racing. I think it is a great opportunity to combine the autopilot in racing. Drive the car until the night, then the car transforms to computer modules into an autopilot mode. This will make Le Mans have more uncertainties, much more exciting and safer."