Ben's taxi design

Coachlines - April 2021

15.04.21 Assistant Giles Taylor

Motor Centenary Bursary Award 2021

The Motor Centenary Bursary Award judging took place on 17th March. The zoom call session was chaired by sub-committee chairman Giles Taylor and a total of four talented design student candidates were interviewed. The students were selected from the Royal College of Art and Coventry University’s world renowned automotive design courses. Two outstanding award winners were chosen by the judging committee members and the Master. We shall be following their progress into the auto industry with future updates in Coachlines.

Benjamin Martin – Motor Centenary Award Winner

Ben Martin

Ben Martin

Benjamin graduated with first class honours degree from Coventry University and is now in his final year studying Intelligent Mobility (MA RCA) at the Royal College of Art.

Benjamin recently developed an award winning concept for a minimal sized autonomous electric two seater London Taxi – “Vision Bersey ” (pictured above) named after the first electric Bersey cab in 1897. This would be powered using electricity generated by harnessing the river Thames tidal capacity through innovative Archimedes’ screw systems.

With his bursary award of £4,000 he plans to enrich his future conceptual thinking surrounding bio design and further explore how nature can inspire more meaningful applications to future urban mobility.

“Graduating with a first class MDes Degree in Automotive Design at Coventry University, I have developed a more philosophical approach to automotive design solutions.” says Ben. “Upon graduation I have gained valuable industry experience at Envisage Group and Swift Group using skills developed throughout my educational career to produce high end luxury concept vehicles.

“After being selected to join the MA intelligent mobility program at the RCA, I was nominated by Chris Thorpe for the WASLDET award whereby I was awarded first prize. Furthermore, I have been fortunate to have been featured in Forbes for my first term’s project, Vision Bersey. Vision Bersey expresses the aesthetic characteristics of Londons first electric Cab (Bersey, 1897), while more stylishly utilising the vehicles exterior footprint by adopting the familiar hop on/hop off service from the Route Master Bus. Functional minimalism was at the heart of this design to highlight the heritage and craftsmanship of steel, wood and leather. Powered by harnessing the Thames’ tidal capacity through Archimedes screw systems and controlled with the latest in electric skateboard chassis technology, this future vision of the London taxi caters for the fully autonomous megacity landscape.

“Throughout my studies on the MA, I would like to enrich my thinking surrounding bio design and how nature can inspire more meaningful applications to urban mobility.”

Richard Newman

Richard Newman

Richard Newman – Motor Centenary Bursary Award Runner-Up

Richard is an undergraduate in his final year studying Automotive Design BA(Hons) at Coventry University. Along with his passion for all things automotive, he is also interested in science and fashion.

Following graduation his ambitions are to further develop his creative thinking and expand his skills in wider fields of design. His personal aim is to be recognised for design work in the area of habitat and mobility that will make a real difference for future generations.
With the bursary award he intends to fund his own 3D printer in order to create physical scale models that support his own digital 3D work. He is awarded £1,000.