Where: Transportation Design Program, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan
What You’ll Learn: How to prototype the future of transportation
Job Prospects: Auto designer, mass-transit designer
Typical Assignment: Create a car that could be built in the year 2020
Chasing a degree in the auto industry might seem a little backward right now, but CCS is the place where companies from Hyundai to Fiat sponsor projects for their most forward-looking concepts. It also places more designers in the industry than any other institution; alums include heads of design at divisions of Toyota, GM, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz.
Last year, when Hyundai challenged seniors to come up with green cars of the future, Dong Tran designed a particularly ambitious vehicle: an aerodynamic hydrogen-fueled car with wheels like wind turbines. A hydrogen fuel cell powers four independent hub-mounted electric motors, cooled by air drawn in through the center of the rims as the wheels rotate. “The cooler the better,” Tran says. “Dissipating heat prolongs life span and increases efficiency.”
Tran rendered his concept car using 3-D modeling programs, but students often build scale prototypes as well. This year, the school added a new master’s program in transportation design, one of only a few in the country, that will combine business classes with design.single page
The incredible innovations, like drone swarms and perpetual flight, bringing aviation into the world of tomorrow. Plus: today's greatest sci-fi writers predict the future, the science behind the summer's biggest blockbusters, a Doctor Who-themed DIY 'bot, the organs you can do without, and much more.