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Be seen: the Ford GloCar Concept


July 12, 2003

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Sunday July 13, 2003

There is no doubt that being visible on the road relates directly to safety. This point has been well made in relation to cyclists and motorbikes, but now Ford is taking automotive illumination to a new level with a translucent concept car that uses LED lights to change body panel colours, intensity and frequency. The panels can be lit according to user preference, enabling the driver to either stand out or blend in depending on conditions and consigning to history the famous Henry Ford statement on colour preference: "You can have any color as long as it's black."

The GloCar will be on display until January 2004 as part of the "National Design Triennial: Inside Design Now" exhibit at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in the United States.

The customisable GloCar was designed to be safe, fun and evoke emotion.

"The soft glowing panels serve as a safety feature to make you very visible at night," said Laurens van den Acker, chief designer at Ford's Brand Imaging Group. "The rear panel doubles as a brake light, and the side panels as blinkers. When somebody comes too close, the panels increase in intensity, signalling the driver to keep a distance."

The GloCar is built around a lightweight aluminium space frame and is powered by fuel cell technology.

Ford designers focussed on future safety and sustainability needs when developing the concept that could potentially simplify the production process and reduce costs by eliminating the need for vehicle paint.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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