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The theme of this year’s design challenge at the 2014 LA Auto Show was “Sensing the future” while the competitors were also asked, “How will cars interact with us in 2029?” Infiniti, the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Nissan, came up with the Infiniti SYNAPTIQ concept: A wearable flying racecar that you can control with your mind.Infiniti’s take on what the car of the future might look like won the first-ever People’s Choice Award as part of the 11th annual Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge.

The low, wide and versatile Infiniti SYNAPTIQ concept is less a car and more of a set of interlocking pieces. The car integrates augmented reality, 3D hologram and wearable technologies as part of the futuristic everyday driving experience. The SYNAPTIQ’s Sym-biotic User Interface Technology (SUIT) is designed to connect to the driver to the machine via a spinal lock attachment, which suspends the driver into the driving position and connects the driver’s thoughts to the machine. A liquid crystal canopy with an augmented reality system would display information to the driver.

The SYNAPTIQ is also designed to compete in Infiniti’s own futuristic Air, Rally, Circuit (ARC) triathlon series, by turning into an F1 car, a buggy or an air racer depending on what the driver desires or the situation requires.


“Our designers loved participating in the LA Auto Show Design Challenge, conceptualizing how Infiniti drivers could interact with their vehicle in the coming decades,” said John Sahs, interior design manager at Infiniti, and leader of the SYNAPTIQ team. “It’s extremely gratifying for the public to also dream a bit with us and identify with such ideas that may seem a bit futuristic, but may just not be that far away from reality.”

Infiniti SYNAPTIQ image gallery

The official version:

INFINITI’s “SYNAPTIQ” human machine interface is the future vision of how people will be connecting with their vehicles in the year 2029.

It is a holistic system which takes our current understanding of augmented reality, 3D hologram, and wearable technology to the next level. The I.U.I. will enhance the passion and performance of driving, as well as lead to a design that will provoke the human imagination. “SYNAPTIQ” is a holistic system encompassing the SYNAPTIQ S.U.I.T. (Sym- biotic User Interface Technology). The suit connects the driver’s thoughts through a spinal lock attachment into the pod; woven with synthetic muscles, the outfit suspends the pilot into the driving position. The suit both enhances and gives tactile resistance to the driver to simulate a physical inter- action with the machine. The liquid crystal ETFE canopies are enhanced with an augmented reality system that actively displays relevant information, such as the pilot’s vitals and vehicle dynamics. The information core of the INFINITI USER INTERFACE (I.U.I.) is a floating holographic projection that is extremely flexible and adaptive to each driver’s situation and needs. The pilot, who remains with the single fuselage pod, can seamlessly transfer among “SYPNATIQ’s” three chassis vehicle types while displaying the graphic user interface. The system will allow the driver to stay familiar with the interior environment with a user interface that seamlessly adapts to any driving or flying condition.


Looking for a new gadget? How about a Drone? You know you want one!