Automotive design is a set of professional vocations or occupations involved in the development of the appearance, and to some extent the ergonomics, of motor vehicles or more specifically road vehicles. See glossary of automotive design. This most commonly refers to automobiles but also refers to motorcycles, trucks, buses, coaches, and vans. The functional design and development of a modern motor vehicle is typically done by a large team from many different disciplines included within automotive engineering however design roles are not associated with requirements for Professional or Chartered Engineer qualifications. Automotive design in this context is primarily concerned with developing the visual appearance or aesthetics of the vehicle, though it is also involved in the creation of the product concept. Automotive design is practiced by designers who may have an art background and a degree in industrial design or transportation design.
The task of the design team is usually split into three main aspects: exterior design, interior design, and color and trim design. Graphic design is also an aspect of automotive design; this is generally shared amongst the design team as the lead designer sees fit. Design focuses not only on the isolated outer shape of automobile parts, but concentrates on the combination of form and function, starting from the vehicle package.
The aesthetic value will need to correspond to ergonomic functionality and utility features as well. In particular, vehicular electronic components and parts will give more challenges to automotive designers who are required to update on the latest information and knowledge associated with emerging vehicular gadgetry, particularly dashtop mobile devices, like GPS navigation, satellite radio, HD radio, mobile TV, MP3 players, video playback, and smartphone interfaces. Though not all the new vehicular gadgets are to be designated as factory standard items, some of them may be integral to determining the future course of any specific vehicular models.
The stylist responsible for the design of the exterior of the vehicle develops the proportions, shape, and surfaces of the vehicle. Exterior design is first done by a series of digital or manual drawings. Progressively, drawings that are more detailed are executed and approved by appropriate layers of management. Clay (industrial plasticine) and or digital models are developed from, and along with the drawings. The data from these models are then used to create a full sized mock-up of the final design (body in white). With three- and five-axis CNC milling machines, the clay model is first designed in a computer program and then “carved” using the machine and large amounts of clay. Even in times of high-class 3d software and virtual models on power walls, the clay model is still the most important tool to evaluate the design of a car and therefore used throughout the industry.
[sc name=”picutres” ]/>