Toyota has a new concept SUV, and it was created by Clemson University graduate students. The SUV differs from other SUVs on the road, boasting a distinct geometric design philosophy and the decidedly untraditional name “uBox.” The vehicle concept was designed to appeal to generation Z, with the graduate students envisioning the needs of such drivers in the year 2020. The group recently showed off uBox on video.
uBox was designed by the university’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), and is part of a couple year collaboration with the auto maker’s North American engineers and designers called Deep Orange. Under the collaboration, students are given immersive experience in developing a car, including everything from researching the target market to designing the concept and manufacturing the final product.
Associate professor with the program Johnell Brooks said:
Deep Orange gives students’ hands-on experience with the entire vehicle development process, from identifying the market opportunity through the vehicle build. It’s like automotive boot camp for the real world, and it wouldn’t happen without industry partners like Toyota.
uBox has several notable design elements, not the least of which is the interior’s ample space and customizability. The exterior is designed to be bold and “distinctive,” and the finer details, namely the dashboard elements and door trim, can be made even more personal using customized 3D-printed parts. Finally, the concept is also designed to work as a large, emissions-free power station for running gadgets like phones, as well as larger items like power tools and electronics that require a 110-volt socket.