Artist’s car of the future goes on show in Sunderland

Dominic Wilcox with his driverless car, which has gone on display at the National Glass Centre.
Dominic Wilcox with his driverless car, which has gone on display at the National Glass Centre.
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A stained-glass driverless car of the future has arrived in its designer’s home city.

Sunderland-born artist, inventor and author Dominic Wilcox designed the car two years ago after winning a commission for the exhibition Dezeen and Mini Frontiers, at the London Design Festival.

Dominic explained his inspiration for the car at a talk at the National Glass Centre (NGC), where his car is now on show.

He said: “I was working on the proposition that in 2059, a hundred years after the first Mini went on sale, that it will be statistically proven that it’s safer to drive in a computer-controlled car than in a vehicle driven by a human – so a designer doesn’t have to dwell on safety measures.

“I then took the idea to its extreme and thought of a glass car. During a visit to Durham Cathedral it struck me that stained glass was always flat, and thought it would be interesting to design something that involved using stained glass in a contemporary, three-dimensional form.

“As the occupant won’t have any driving to do, or anything to worry about, I’ve made it a sleeper, where the occupant can sleep on a bed while the car travels to the destination of choice.

“I was greatly assisted in the development of the car by Middlesex University’s product design department.”

The car will be on display at NGC until January 31.

Dominic, a former St Aidan’s pupil, is working on Inventors!, a commission from the Cultural Spring, a three-year Arts Council-funded initiative in north Wearside and South Tyneside.

l See the results of the commission in a pop-up shop exhibition in Fawcett Street from Saturday.