Monthly Archives: March 2014

Modular vehicles for intra-urban and inter-urban travel

Today, Die Zeit presents a series of vehicle deisgn proposals. In some  cases, thought has been given to the difference between inter-urban and intra-urban travel. The larger part of the vehicle is parked outside of the city. A smaller part is detached for intr-urban mobility. The standard user of this concept, however, is the peri-urban resident.
Fahrzeugdesign: Nehmen Sie Platz in Ihrem Auto der Zukunft! (2014s. d.). ZEIT ONLINE. Consulté 17 mars 2014, à l’adresse

“Cars have their own faces”: cross-cultural ratings of car shapes in biological (stereotypical) terms

It was recently shown that Austrians associate car front geometry with traits in a way that could be related to face shape geometry mapping to those same overall suites of traits. Yet, possible confounding effects of familiarity with the car models, media coverage and entertainment could not be ruled out. In order to address this, the current study uses a cross-cultural comparison. Adult subjects in two countries (Austria and Ethiopia, n=129) were asked to rate person characteristics of 46 standardized front views of automobiles on various trait scales. These two countries differ substantially with regard to their experience with car models and brands, as well as car marketing and media coverage. Geometric morphometrics was then used to assess the shape information underlying trait attribution. Car shapes for perceived maturity, maleness and dominance were highly similar in both countries, with patterns comparable to shape changes during facial growth in humans: Relative sizes of the forehead and windshield decrease with age/growth, eyes and headlights both become more slit-like, noses and grilles bigger, lips and air-intakes are wider. Austrian participants further attributed various degrees of some interpersonal attitudes and emotions, whereas neither Austrians nor Ethiopians congruently ascribed personalities. Morphological correlates of personal characteristics are discussed, as are person perception and its overgeneralization to inanimate objects. Cross-cultural similarities and differences are addressed, as well as implications for car styling, follow-up studies on driving and pedestrian behavior, and fundamental dimensions in inference from (human) faces.





See: Windhager, S., Bookstein, F. L., Grammer, K., Oberzaucher, E., Said, H., Slice, D. E., … Schaefer, K. (2012). « Cars have their own faces »: cross-cultural ratings of car shapes in biological (stereotypical) terms. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33(2), 109‑120. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2011.06.003