Driverless cars will "capture a virtual replica
of the real world," says Pernilla Ohrstedt

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: architect Pernilla Ohrstedt's stand design for the Dezeen and MINI Frontiers exhibition will visualise the 3D data driverless cars use to navigate, which she claims will gradually produce a "perfect" digital model of our cities.

3D data collected by a driverless car
3D data collected by a driverless car

"I'm looking at how scanners in our cars are beginning to capture a virtual replica of the world," says Ohrstedt. "Driverless cars will incorporate technology where they are constantly scanning the world around them to be able to seamlessly move around the city, until we have a perfect one-to-one replica that is constantly updating with information."

Example of a point cloud
Example of a point cloud

The data 3D scanners collect is called a "point cloud", which Ohrstedt will use as the basis for her exhibition design.

Example of a point cloud
Example of a point cloud

"I'm dealing with the future of mobility in an architectural way," she explains. "I'm actually designing the landscape for the exhibition. I'm working with ScanLAB Projects, one of the leading space-scanning companies to scan the space."



She continues: "From this scan we are extracting the point cloud and superimposing those points back onto the space itself."

3D scan of designjunction
3D scan of designjunction, where the Dezeen and MINI Frontiers exhibition will take place

The machines that ScanLAB use can collect data at an extremely high resolution, but Ohrstedt will reduce the resolution to match the level of detail the first driverless cars will capture.

Ohrstedt will superimpose the pointcloud onto physical space at designjunction
Ohrstedt will superimpose the pointcloud onto physical space at designjunction

However, she believes that as the technology gets cheaper the resolution of the data captured by cars will increase, until our digital model of the world will be indistinguishable from the real thing.



"We can already go onto Google Earth and check tourist destinations," she says. "In the future it's really conceivable that we'll start travelling the virtual world instead of the physical, because it will be scanned at such high resolution."

Coca Cola Beatbox pavilion by Pernilla Ohrstedt and Asif Khan
Coca Cola Beatbox pavilion by Pernilla Ohrstedt and Asif Khan

Ohrstedt is used to working closely with cutting-edge technology in her architecture. In 2012 she collaborated with Asif Kahn to design a pavilion for Coca-Cola at the London Olympics that produced sounds when people interacted with it.

"The Beatbox pavilion contained 230 ETFE cushions that incorporated sound and interaction technology that allowed you to play the pavilion like a musical instrument," Ohrstedt explains.

Pernilla Ohrstedt portrait
Pernilla Ohrstedt

The Dezeen and MINI Frontiers exhibition will take place at designjunction during London Design Festival from 17 to 20 September 2014.

The music featured in the movie is a track called Contemphasic by Bankcee. You can listen to more original music on Dezeen Music Project.

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers is a year-long collaboration with MINI exploring how design and technology are coming together to shape the future.

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers

Related movie:

More Dezeen and Mini Frontiers:

Comments

  • DamArch

    “In the future it’s very conceivable travelling virtual world instead of the physical world”.

    Why is the virtual world often perceived like a more enthusiastic and stimulated “world” than the physical one?

    I will never understand that.

  • Dan Leno

    A nation under CCTV.

  • Snarf Mar

    This is going to be awesome for video games.

  • Hyena

    In theory, driverless cars will provide more safety to road-users by taking out human error as a variable. If you could design something that could save lives, would you not let go of your traditions and old ways? I sure would.

Posted on Monday, August 4th, 2014 at 12:25 pm by Ben Hobson. See our copyright policy.

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