9th July, Ekaterinburg. The INNOPROM industrial trade fair invited expert panelists to submit their forecasts about the “Machines Of The Future”.
The INNPROM Future Forecasts are traditionally one of the high-spots of the trade fair. This year the top experts – including futurologists, leading scientists, and business gurus – gave their visions of the ways industrial technology might develop in future. The broad differences of opinion which arose served to make it a thought-provoking and lively session! The first time this kind of future-guesstimating was tried at Innoprom was in 2012, and quickly became an annual fixture. This year's forecasting was dedicated to the topic of “The Machines Of The Future”, in which two of today's top-flight designers outlined their differing perceptions – Chris Bangle and Murat Gunak.
For 17 years Chris worked as Lead Designer for BMW, including the designs for cars under the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce marques – he's famous for his revolutionary and experimental approaches. This was the reason that the director of the Business Program at INNOPROM, Anton Atrashkin called Chris Bangle “the Che Guevara of industrial design”. After he had released the GINA for BMW, Chris claimed his team had thrown down the gauntlet to accepted principles and standard processes. Turning his attention to a huge display of industrial robots, Chris remarked that the robotics industry is currently where the automotive industry had been in the 1990s – a huge number of different companies, all producing their own stuff, with nobody knowing what the future might bring, or how to prepare for it. Chris also believes that the next Henry Ford will emerge not from the car industry, but in robotics design and manufacture.
Murat Gunak spent many years heading up all aspects of design for the Volkswagen Group, where he was the creator of the first Mercedes C-class, and the SLK. Since 2007, Murat Gunak has run his own independent design practice. His company, MIA Electric, was the first to design a fully electrically-powered car – and he remains certain that the future will be based around exactly this type of transport technology. This is his basis for believing that countries which do not yet have their car-building industries can get a toe-hold in this growing market, in the field of electric cars.
Chris Bangle and Murat Gunak discussed whether the transport of tomorrow could defy the laws of physics... how great are the options for alternative vehicle power-systems... the issues surrounding driverless cars... and what place robots and robotics might have in Russia.