Wall-climbing concept car wins at L.A. Auto Show

At this year's L.A. Auto Show, automotive designers were asked to put themselves in the shoes of Mother Nature herself. The idea was to create a vehicle which would best emulate nature's solution to human transportation. The winning design, created by China's SAIC, is a sleek new take on the relationship between ants and trumpet trees.

Fittingly called the Mobiliant, this single-seater vehicle is designed to forge new paths in urban landscapes. Climbing walls to deliver drivers directly to their high-rise apartments and offices, Mobiliant actually interacts with the buildings themselves in a mutually beneficial way.

To get up these vertical surfaces, Mobiliant employs its C.L.A.W.S. — short for Cilium Layer Advanced Wheel System. The wheels use nano-scale cilia technology that can easily adapt to any surface and increase its grip upon the road, even if you're travelling straight up or down. At the same time, internal stabilizers keep its cockpit level so drivers don't black out driving up a wall.

As it climbs through the sky, Mobiliant actually harvests greenhouse gasses and converts them (by way of an enzyme-driven transformer) into a liquid that can be used as fertilizer. While this isn't immediately beneficial to the Mobiliant itself, the benefit for the vehicle comes into play when it parks itself astride the surface of a skyscraper. There, the car transfers its collected fertilizer to the building, which in turn refuels the car with biofuels produced by plants growing along its trellises.

The Mobiliant concept isn't just a new kind of car, it's a whole new transportation infrastructure for those living in urban environments. A negative-emissions system, Mobiliant would actually clean up polluted cities while getting everyone from place to place as quickly as possible, if it wasn't just a concept vehicle. Mother Nature herself would be proud.

L.A. Auto Show, via Auto Week

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