The Design Museum has announced the contenders for the sixth annual Designs of the Year. And their shortlist for transport showcases some of the most forward-thinking ways to get around you've ever seen.
Air Access Seat: Air Access comprises two components; a detachable wheelchair that transports passengers from the gate to the plane, and a fixed-frame aisle seat into which the wheelchair can seamlessly slide to form a regular airline seat. Designed by Priestmangoode.
Donky Bicycle: The steel beam running through this compact bicycle by British industrial designer Ben Wilson means it can carry heavy loads on its front and rear platforms. Designed by Ben Wilson.
Photo: Ben Wilson Design
Exhibition Road: This $42 million development project improved the infrastructure of, access to, and facilities within London's famed Exhibition Road area, and was completed just in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Designed by Dixon Jones/The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Photo: Stuart Wilson/Getty Images for the Cass Sculpture Foundation
i3 Concept Car: This BMW coupe not only generates zero emissions, it also provides a calm, virtually silent driving experience for up to 100 miles before requiring charging. And through its optional fast charging, the battery can be replenished to 80% charge in less than 30 minutes. Designed by BMW.
Mando Footloose Chainless Bicycle: Unlike similar bicycles that combine manual and electric power, the Footloose totally eliminates the chain and transforms the cyclist's efforts directly into electricity. This energy is then stored in a lithium-ion battery inside the bike frame, before it is converted back into kinetic energy by the electric motor that powers the rear wheel. Designed by Mark Sanders.
Photo: Mando Footloose
Morph Folding Wheel. For the first time the wheels on a wheelchair are able to fold flat and fit in the storage compartments of airplanes and small cars. When folded, the wheel takes up less than half a cubic foot, compared with nearly twice that when in use. Designed by Vitamins for Maddak Inc.
N-ONE: Featuring a naturally aspirated 1.3L DOHC engine, this hatchback delivers a fuel economy of 64 mpg. Designed by Honda.
Olympics Wayfinding: It was easy to find your way around London last year with these eye-catching signs that cropped up everywhere from the Tube, to the Torch Relay, to the Olympic venues themselves. Designed by TfL/JEDCO/LOCOG.
Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Touch & Travel: A new traveling system in Germany that uses a smartphone app to scan your tickets and generates a monthly bill that can be taken from your direct debit. Designed by DB Mobility Logistics AG.
Source: Touch & Travel
The Design Museum of London's Designs of the Year exhibition will be open through July 7th, with winners announced on April 17th. For ticketing information, head here.