Coming up with innovative designs for vans can sometimes be difficult, especially for ones that are specifically for city centre driving. Experienced van drivers will know how troublesome it can be travelling through city centres, especially as roads are generally narrower and there are fewer places for vans to park without causing an obstruction. It is unsurprising then that it is more likely for van drivers to experience accidents whilst in city centres, which ultimately leads them having to claim on their van insurance policy in order to pay for damages.
However, van manufacturer Citroen came with a novel way of gaining new designs for city centre vans – launching a competition where students based in London imagine their own designs and then present them to the company. Yesterday, twenty six design students from the Royal College of Arts presented their concepts to a team of Citroen’s senior executives from the design, engineering and marketing divisions, and the winner was announced as Alexander Ibbett.
The students only had two months to come up with their designs and presentations, and the only specification the company gave was to “develop a global van with flexible options, to move goods quickly and quietly, conveniently and with proper concern for roadspace, roadusers and yourself – the ultimate receiver of the goods.” Ibbett designed his van based on the idea of a row of ducklings following their mother, and his concept was a tiny single-occupant tractor unit, to which small electric powered parcel carriers automatically link up and travel in a convoy. Once the driver gets closer to his destination the parcel carriers peel off so that the driver can park as close to the recipient’s house as possible.
Ibbett won a gold medal for outstanding student achievement at the RCA, and also managed to network with some of the most senior members of Citroen, meaning that he has a bright future in vehicle design in the future.