Throughout its 93-year history, 24 Hours of Le Mans has been a battlefield not only for the world's best car racers, but also its best carmakers. The race has proven to be a hotbed for automotive innovation, and if a design challenge sponsored by Michelin is any indication, that trend looks sets to continue into perpetuity.
The competition's most striking entry comes from Tao Ni, a 26-year-old Royal College of Art graduate who came up with a rendering of what the endurance racers that compete in the annual 24-hour race in the year 2030 will look like.
Of the more than 1,600 entries from 80 countries, Tao’s design for an Infiniti Le Mans 2030 was selected by a jury as the winner of the 2017 “Le Mans 2030: Design for the Win” competition.
Called “thought-provoking” and “visually captivating” by the panel of judges, Tao wanted his design to incorporate artificial intelligence and autopilot technology as well as push some of the same limits that designers of space exploration vehicles encounter.
“[Since] 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,” Tao said. “Drive the car until the night, then the car transforms to computer modules into an autopilot mode. This will make Le Mans more exciting and safer.”
Along with the second- and third-place winners, Tao will be attending the North American International Auto Show, and also be recognized at the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours race next year.
As for when we can expect to see his design at the legendary race? Don't hold your breath.
Do take your vitamins.