Airwaves by Lei Liu, China

2008: Smaller. Safer. Better.

Drawings on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Lei Liu, 23, graduated with a bachelor degree in Industrial design from North University of China in 2007. He has participated in many design projects during his undergraduate study. He has won multiple awards including scholarships for North University of China. His main interest is transportation design and he has recently applied to American schools to further his study of transportation design.


If crawling along in traffic, squeezing into compact parking spots and snaking through small city streets are part of your day-to-day routine, what you’re driving can have a lot to do with just how much stress, or comfort, you’re feeling behind the wheel. The Airwaves could give you a different feeling during the lousy city driving.

As a small car, in width as well as length, Airwaves will not only make parking easier but will help prevent dents and scrapes. The electronic door has been designed to rotate vertically rather than hinge outward to prevent others being “doored”. In addition, the LCD screen on the back of Airwaves can display some information to make other people feel less bored during the traffic jams, such as weather reports, news, or greeting words from the driver. Airwaves concept is powered by the electric system. Since the electric vehicle has many advantages, such as the low operation fee and zero emission.

Safety is every important for small cars. A special lift mechanism in Airwaves can provide good protection for the driver, passengers and pedestrians. When the driver uses the emergency brake and the car hits a pedestrian, the cabin will lift up by inertia. At the same time, the outside and inside airbags will be released to protect the pedestrian, driver and passengers.