5 years ago

Onelife 22

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Unboxing of the All-New Discovery | A portrait of the sailing legend, Ben Ainslie | Look into the future of mobility and transportation | Copenhagen – probably the coolest city in the world?


RATAN TATA OBJECT 02: OFFICE CHAIRS The All-New Discovery cabin didn’t start with a blank sheet of paper, but with an empty area of office floor, onto which engineer Rory Manning pushed seven office chairs. “The outgoing Discovery had an incredibly versatile cabin,” explains Rory’s colleague Dave Hird. “But if you want to end up with the best possible solution, you can’t start with what you’ve got. You have to ignore all the existing solutions and just say, ‘what if?’ That’s hard to do purely in your head. Some props are useful. So Rory used the chairs.” The cabin that Rory and his team came up with is a minor miracle of packaging, fitting seven full-sized adult seats into a car less than 15.5 feet long, along with thoughful storage and USB connections in every row, which the modern, always-connected family demands. This practicality and versatility have always been central to the Discovery models appeal. But Rory didn’t stop thinking about new possibilities. What if, he asked, you could just walk up to your car and get the seating configuration you need with a swipe of an app on your phone, or the push of a button, or a tap on the touchscreen? What if you didn’t need to climb inside to fold the seats yourself? His what-if would become the new Discovery models revolutionary Intelligent Seat Fold system*. The office chairs helped Rory, Dave and the rest of the team imagine how customers might expect it to work, and what the system would need to do to deliver the seating plan the customer asks for with the minimum of input. “That’s my job,” says Dave. “I help get that first idea into the finished car.” Dave asked more what-ifs. What if the seat you want to fold has something or someone on it? What if the configuration you need means moving all the seats at once? How do you choreograph the mechanical ballet required when all three rows need to move simultaneously? “This is what makes the system intelligent,” Dave says. “But before you can design it, you have to decide what you want, free of all existing constraints.” That free-thinking has produced a very well planned cabin. It also deprived a few engineers of their office chairs for a while. When they sit in a new Discovery, they’ll know it was worth the inconvenience. * optional feature 43


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Land Rover Magazine 39


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