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Temporal Shape Changes and Future Trends in European Automotive Design

by Corrado Costa 1,*,† and Jacopo Aguzzi 2,†
1
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria (CREA), Unità di ricerca per l'ingegneria agraria, Via della Pascolare 16, 00015 Monterotondo Scalo (Rome), Italy
2
Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: David Mba
Machines 2015, 3(3), 256-267; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines3030256
Received: 13 May 2015 / Revised: 27 August 2015 / Accepted: 7 September 2015 / Published: 17 September 2015
Evolution produces genuine novelty in morphology through the selection of competing designs as phenotypes. When applied to human creativity, the evolutionary paradigm can provide insight into the ways that our technology and its design are modified through time. The shape of European utilitarian cars in the past 60 years was analyzed in order to determine whether changes occur in a gradual fashion or through saltation, clarifying which are the more conserved and more variable parts of the designs. We also attempted to predict the future appearances of the cars within the next decade, discussing all results within the framework of relevant evolutionary-like equivalences. Here, we analyzed the modification in the shape of European utilitarian cars in the past 60 years by three-dimensional geometric morphometrics to test whether these changes occurred in a gradual or more saltatory fashion. The geometric morphometric shape analysis showed that even though car brands have always been preserving distinct shapes, all followed a gradual pattern of evolution which is now converging toward a more similar fusiform and compact asset. This process was described using Darwinian evolution as a metaphor to quantify and interpret changes over time and the societal pressures promoting them. View Full-Text
Keywords: automotive design; evolution; geometric morphometry; cultural trends; utilitarian cars automotive design; evolution; geometric morphometry; cultural trends; utilitarian cars
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Costa, C.; Aguzzi, J. Temporal Shape Changes and Future Trends in European Automotive Design. Machines 2015, 3, 256-267.

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