Nanyang Autonomous Venture win a Vehicle Design Award at the 2020 Asia Off-Tracks for their innovative design of an Urban Concept vehicle inspired by the streamlined body shape of a killer whale.

About the Vehicle Design Award – Urban Concept

Sponsored by Altair, the Vehicle Design Award (Urban Concept) recognises innovative design research and execution, awarding the most original and coherent vehicle in terms of aesthetics, ergonomics, technical feasibility, choice of materials and eco-friendliness.

What they achieved

Nanyang Autonomous Venture began work on their vehicle in March 2018, dedicating the first 10 months of the project to design, construction, assembly and testing. After participating in Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2019, the second team carried out an in-depth analysis of the vehicle’s performance and identified areas of improvement from the 2019 model of the vehicle, until the NV-11 was ready for 2020.

The inspiration behind the NV-11’s design was a killer whale, with a streamlined body shape which offered speed and ease of moving. Further orca-inspired styling, such as contrasting quarter windows, were also added to increase visibility and extend the theme. The team then rendered the design sketches into 3D models for further development and refinement.

The construction, which had a monocoque design, where the floor, side walls and roof are bonded together to form a strong, single-part body. Movable parts such as doors and lids were cut out from this monocoque for flexibility and ease of access.

In terms of materials, the team opted for carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) due to its low weight and high strength. The shells for the monocoque were made from a foam core, sandwiched between CFRP fabrics to control strength, and keep weight to a minimum.

With design at the core of the NV-11, the team even considered air flow of the vehicle, constructing three independent ventilation paths to ensure effective cooling in the front and rear electrical compartments, and the cabin. The independent ventilation paths allow optimal cooling for each compartment, where heat generating components are kept separated from the passenger area, ensuring a safe environment if components malfunction.

The high powered and carefully designed NV-11 vehicle embodies all the hard work from the Nanyang Autonomous Venture teams. The students’ determination, continued collaboration and careful planning helped them earn the Vehicle Design Award and carved many opportunities for them in the future.

Why the judges believed they deserve to win?

“The winners demonstrated good efforts on concept design, packaging, and detailed design. They captured the total product development process including validation very well. Ergonomics including seating, steering, controls and visibility were taken care of; and the use of the logo as engine hood lock looks cool. Innovative mechanisms and the link provided to a YouTube video demonstrated well. The vehicle design fantastic, with a well-constructed polished interior. Overall, their presentation was well done with good attention to detail.”

Lead Judge: Pandu Ranga Chirala, Altair

Advice for future Shell Eco-marathon participants

“Keep working and push yourself to innovate. Find new ways to achieve better energy management. Technologies and developments made in Shell Eco-marathon are not limited to just the competition: they may even be the next big thing in the automotive world.”

Learn more about the winning team

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