The automotive world is entering into a time of great transition. Cars are moving off carbon-based fuels, and autonomous driving, when it arrives, will redefine our relationship with the personal vehicle in profound ways. Now, Nissan has decided to look beyond those transitions — 30 years into the future, in fact — with the Nissan GT-R (X) 2050 concept, conceived by Nissan design intern Jaebum Choi.
The best way to describe the GT-R (X) 2050 may be "half-car, half-exoskeleton." The vehicle itself is 10 feet long and two feet high. A single occupant wears a futuristic racing-style suit and lies prone in the car, facing forward with their arms and legs spread in an X-pattern. The car operates via a brain-to-core transmitter, allowing the person to send signals directly to the machine.
Choi envisioned the GT-R (X) 2050 as being as close as someone could come to a wearable car. "Exoskeletons today make people stronger by wearing mechanical structures. I tried to fit the size of a person’s body as much as I could, as if I were wearing a car," Choi said. "I wanted to create a new form of machine that is not a vehicle to ride, it is the space where machine and the human become one."
The concept also incorporates combined tire/wheels that would allow for 360-degree movement and styling cues from the current Nissan GT-R. (Hence the name.)
On a conceptual level, the GT-R (X) 2050 concept is an impressive reimagining of the relationship between man and machine. Real-life autonomous vehicles, at least at the outset, may look more like our current vehicles than we might expect as safety standards have been designed around the present occupant alignment.
And, yes, thinking about physically operating this vehicle comes uncomfortably close to Jason Torchinksy's grotesque theory of how the Cars universe operates.