Star of future is light fantastic

Study uses tailgate as screen to warn following drivers.

The Detroit Motor Show isbarely over, but already makers are turning the spotlight on Geneva –literally! This stylish supermini, the Light Car – Open Source, willgrace the stand of automotive engineering firm EDAG at March’s Swissexpo.

It’s one of the first vehicles in the world to use a layerof organic LED lights. These are more commonly found in hi-tech TVs andcomputer screens. The model also has a transparent tailgate: used as aprojection screen to boost car-to-car communication.

The idea ofthe Light Car – Open Source is to showcase new materials, bodystylesand alternative drive systems. Also key is conserving resources andkeeping costs down for the manufacturer and customer.

“Risingenergy prices, the CO2 debate and increasing demand for reasonablypriced cars are all pressing questions which are calling for innovativeconcepts,” said a spokesman.

Another automotive first is the useof basalt fibre in the structure. Lightweight, strong and recyclable,it’s cheaper than carbon or aluminium. At four metres long, the car isthe same size as a Ford Fiesta. It’s powered by electric motors hiddenin the wheels. The lithium-ion batteries give a range of 90 miles.

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