Graduating Transportation Design senior Merrill Mathew is the grand award winner of an automotive interior design competition sponsored by WardsAuto, Lear and International Automotive Components.
Students were challenged to create an interior for a fuel-efficient family sedan that will go on sale in 2025. Mathew’s family-focused sedan is loaded with innovative features including a built-in child seat that can be turned into a backpack for hiking with an infant. There also is a dashboard display that allows a front-seat passenger to monitor the baby in a rear-facing back seat, and a vacuum that is integrated into the floor to keep the interior neat and clean.
The winners were selected by four of the auto industry’s leading designers: Scott Strong, director-design at Ford; Klaus Busse, head of interior design at Chrysler; Ariel Choi, lead designer at Toyota; and Eric Clough, director-Cadillac interior design at General Motors.
WardsAuto asked the four judges to evaluate the student designs on these criteria:
- Realistic usage of technologies and materials.
- Unique ambient lighting concepts.
- Innovative ideas for driver interaction (while minimizing driver distraction).
- Safety features for 2025 that meet consumer demands and government regulations.
- Overall design. How does it all come together?