Mustang Machina

Racquel Lynch, Franklin College of Arts & Sciences, Biology, UGA Senior

Generative AI is a new kind of technology that is mostly used for 2D image and text creation; a tool to aid human imagination. As a result, I decided to use AI to design a 3D model from a sketch I created of a speculative species from the year 2050. Speculative design is a critical form of thinking that imagines possible futures which prioritize values over monetary profits. In my submitted work, I created a speculative version of a Mustang, a wild horse, and turned it into a fully mechanical type of transportation in the event all reserves of fossil fuels were decimated in 2050. My ultimate goal for this design was for sustainability, speed, and convenient human interface, so I decided to implement solar panels on the legs to generate a kind of horsepower that would match that of a luxury electric vehicle. My sketch also illustrates many of the components I devised for convenience, such as docking ports for the mane to use with compatible devices, a storage compartment in the underbelly, radio antennae in place of ears, and a custom-fit saddle for a smooth riding experience. Most notably, the Mustang Machina has an autopilot mode with complete night vision, and built in satellite navigation systems for the typical wanderluster. Because this product is completely electric and not capable of the whimsical nature or temperament of wild horses, it is not necessary to be an experienced equestrian in order to ride it. Even though its primary function is transportation, I wanted the Mustang Machina to simulate the aesthetic of a mustang, albeit with a sleek carbon exterior and titanium hooves, to emulate a return to tradition. Before the advent of fossil fuels, horses were the ultimate mode of transportation. I think it would be interesting to imagine that in the future, in the age of artificial intelligence and technology, we have come full circle. Whether due to the consequences of our own actions, or out of our own innovation, the Mustang Machina provides a speculative outlook for the future of transportation in light of diminishing resources.