We wouldn’t be surprised to find anyone who regularly follows the news surrounding up and coming automotive technology to be full of hope. Between automated/driverless cars, gesture control, and hydrogen power, it seems like the next big thing is just barely over the horizon. But what if we look a little further? What if we dream a little deeper? What if we try to fill in those hazy gaps when we contemplate the automotive world 15 years into the future?

That was the goal of the 11th Annual Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge, which pit eight of the world’s biggest car design studios, including BMW, Honda, McLaren, Nissan, Peterbilt, Qoros, and SAIC, in a competition of the imagination labeled as “Sensing the Future: How Will Cars Interact with Us In 2029?”

Ultimately, it was Nissan, under the Infiniti moniker, that walked away with the Challenge’s first-ever People’s Choice Award, collecting the most online votes at the competition’s Facebook page.

As stated in a press release, the SYNAPTIQ concept is “a holistic system that takes our current understanding of augmented reality, 3D hologram, and wearable technology to the next level.” The idea involves the integration of the vehicle with the driver’s brain and body via a “spinal lock attachment 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 interaction with the machine.”

Infiniti imagines using this human-machine hybrid in a triathlon race dubbed A.R.C, which combines slithering between airborne pylons (“A”), rally across open desert (“R”), and F1-stlye circuit laps (“C”). As such, the SYNAPTIQ concept configuration is presented as an openly adaptable system that can transform quickly between three different modes: jet plane, off-roader, or tarmac setup. With the driver encased in a “liquid crystal ETFE canopy," the modular body structure can transition between each vehicle type with the simplicity of plugging in an iPod.

We love this kind of stuff, and apparently, so do all those Facebook users that voted for it. Will any of this actually make it past the CGI and into the real world? We certainly don’t know. But it sure is fun to dream, isn’t it?

Click past the jump to read more about the Infiniti Synaptiq.

  • 2029 Infiniti Synaptiq
  • Year:
    2029
  • Make:
  • 0-60 time:
    3 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    200 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    100000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2029 Infiniti Synaptiq Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 580199

The SYNAPTIQ concept uses three different body shells to complete the triathlon A.R.C. race of 2029, each specifically designed to their unique purpose. With two transfer stations in place to negotiate the transition between circuit to rally, and rally to air, the universal fuselage driver pod is dislodged from one shell and installed in the next with minimal time loss and maximum adaptability.

Interior

2029 Infiniti Synaptiq Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 580161

This is where things get really crazy. You know how some cars are described as possessing “telepathic handling”? Well, the SYNAPTIQ concept takes that a step further by literally creating a hardline to your thoughts. The S.U.I.T system, which is an acronym that stands for “Sym-biotic User Interface Technology”, proposes the driver has his central nervous system locked into the overall interface, which means responsiveness should be pretty decent, given control inputs happen at the speed of light. In the cockpit, you’ll find no gauges or stereo, but rather a 3D hologram display and augmented reality presented via the liquid crystal canopy, which relays all pertinent information, like “the pilot’s vitals and vehicle dynamics”.

Drivetrain

2029 Infiniti Synaptiq Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 580182

Infiniti offered no word on the source of motive power it expects to fit to this sleek F1 racer/rally car/jet plane, but we can speculate for days. Perhaps it’ll depend on the platform, with a different energy source required for each of the three different modes. We could see a form of cold fusion for the cars, then a chunk of dark matter to help it go airborne. Alternatively, if Nissan wants to source something in-house, it could transplant the VR38DETT from the GT-R. That should work just as well.

Conclusion

2029 Infiniti Synaptiq Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 580181

We’re not surprised this concept took the People’s Choice Award. It’s the perfect blend of imagination and possibility, taking what we now know and expanding upon it exponentially. Where will we be in 15 years? No one knows for sure, but it’s important to encourage ideas like the SYNAPTIQ concept. Even if humanity achieves a sliver of the technological advancements proposed here, we’ll be living in some wild times indeed.

  • Leave it
    • Not sure if I want to plug my brain into anything
    • Could something this crazy actually be real in just fifteen years?

Press Release

In the year 2029, Infiniti sponsors its own team triathlon called the A.R.C. race. The Air, Rally, Circuit race utilizes a universal fuselage pod that can integrate into three vehicle types. The first stretch of the race is a Formula One grand prix course from LA to Las Vegas. The second portion is a desert race, which requires an off-road buggy to the Grand Canyon. The final third leg of the race is a radical gymkhana style jet race through virtual pylons back to Los Angeles.

2029 Infiniti Synaptiq Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 580160

The A.R.C. triathlon race will also be the debut of Infiniti’s new futuristic Human Machine Interface (HMI) called "SYNAPTIQ," a system that will make the driver and machine become one. It will enhance the driver’s passion and performance for racing and as well influence the design of the vehicle that will provoke the imagination.

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 that takes our current understanding of augmented reality, 3D hologram, and wearable technology to the next level.

The Infiniti User Interface (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 interaction with the machine.

2029 Infiniti Synaptiq Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 580161

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 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.

Design Team

Taro Ueda, Vice President
Shinichiro Irie, Design Director
John Anthony Sahs, Interior Design Manager
Randy Rodriguez, Project Lead Designer
Jackie Chang, Senior Interior Designer
Dan Jimenez, Exterior Designer
Sam Lim, Exterior Designer
Simon Tien, GUI Designer
Daniel Mai, GUI Designer
Ann Ngo, Senior Researcher
Ray Devers, Senior Designer
Don Sondys, Specialist Senior Visualization
Matt Wilson, Senior Digital Designer
Jon Wen, Design Intern
Sam Kenny, Design Intern
Omead Dorandish, Design Intern

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