We hope to propose the value required for future mobility
and co-create it with our customers.
Next-generation Concept Car
Why Asahi Kasei creates cocept cars
Asahi Kasei launched a full-scale project to create concept cars in April 2016.
However, the Company was rather a late starter because many other chemical manufacturers had already embarked on their projects to create concept cars. A project team was formed with staff members selected from inside the Company, all of whom were unfamiliar with the creation of vehicles. In addition, having a very wide range of products for automotive applications, Asahi Kasei faced difficulty focusing on a specific concept and representing it.
Nevertheless, with valuable support from external partners with great expertise in vehicle creation, we have been able to pursue the uniqueness of Asahi Kasei and create concept cars in order to raise customer awareness of Asahi Kasei’s wide variety of mobility initiatives, increase our own understanding of mobility itself, and unite all Asahi Kasei staff to work on the mobility business. The AKXY advocated a novel way of contributing to automotive safety, comfort, and environmental performance, while the AKXY POD proposed a future mobility space that could bring great comfort through the senses. The AKXY2 will propose the value required for future mobility, which we hope to co-create with our customers.
“We hope to partner with people in the automotive industry to co-create new value.”
Showcases a wide variety of onboard products and automotive technologies to raise public awareness of Asahi Kasei’s comprehensive capabilities
Demonstrates a comfortable space inside a moving vehicle in anticipation of an era of autonomous vehicles
Sustainability, Satisfaction, Society the AKXY2 embodies the “three S” concept by Asahi Kasei
AKXY2 Proposes a Concept Focused on the “three Ss”
The conceptual pillars of the AKXY2 are the “three Ss,” which are essential factors in increasing the value of automobiles. The three Ss are “Sustainability” in automotive life cycle, “Satisfaction” with automobiles, and “Society” to think of next level integration of vehicles into everyday lives.
Amid the increasingly serious problems of climate change, sustainability is an issue for which manufacturers must fulfill their responsibilities and a theme that urgently requires humankind to gather their wisdom. The AKXY2 features Asahi Kasei’s various materials and technologies that can currently contribute to sustainability and will demonstrate their power more and more brilliantly from now on.
Satisfaction is a theme that is related closely to the senses, intuition, and mental and physical happiness. The AKXY2 adopts unique approaches and implements ideas that are unprecedented in conventional vehicle creation while meeting heightened requirements for value that automobiles are always required to provide universally, including comfort.
Society is the core concept of the AKXY2, because the concept car represents a future vision of automobiles from the perspective of their relationship with society. A particularly critical factor here is the COVID-19 pandemic, which rapidly spread worldwide before one year had passed since the unveiling of the AKXY POD, our second concept model. The pandemic has unavoidably changed our society and has led us to reflect profoundly on the value of cars in society. For example, a car can provide a space for users to devote themselves to their own activities while ensuring their privacy. A car can also enable users to enjoy real experience and communication that they could not achieve remotely. In these manners, cars can enrich people’s hearts. We designed the concept car while considering anew this benefit that cars bring to us.
Our journey with the AKXY2 is not yet finished by our own efforts alone. The world today is filled with difficult challenges and requires us to have the will to continue to tackle the question of how we can create a brighter future. We envision that, in this situation, the AKXY2 will serve as a seed of discussions and co-creation with you to produce one-of-a-kind fruits of automotive industry.
Sustainability in automotive production
Sustainability of the automotive industry is expected to be a pivot of green recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift to EVs is accelerating, and governments are imposing tougher environmental regulations on materials, production processes, etc. As a direct answer to this trend, the AKXY2 proposes solutions based on materials and technologies. It uses a newly developed coating agent, which reinforces transparent resin. The new coating enabled not only the replacement of heavy glass with resin but also flexible design, which could not be achieved with glass.
Moreover, the AKXY2 is designed to reduce the environmental impact of each stage of its production process, proposing an approach to making the entire life cycle of automobiles, from production and distribution to disposal, more sustainable. A prominent example of a contributory factor can be found in its coating process. Among all conventional production processes, the coating process in particular has caused severe environmental pollution and has had adverse impacts on the health of workers. To address this issue, the AKXY2 uses more environment-friendly and safer surface coating. Furthermore, the AKXY2 is also made of novel materials developed through research on how to replace conventional raw materials with plant-based ones and how to recycle recovered materials. In this way, the AKXY2 embodies the ongoing pursuit of sustainability.
Satisfaction with automobiles
The satisfaction of automobile users depends on everything they experience on board, including the exterior and interior designs and functions, sounds, temperature, feeling of motion, the comfort level of the seat, touch, sounds of voices, and views from the windows. The AKXY2 features high-performance materials and electronics technologies tailored thereto, which have been especially selected from Asahi Kasei’s wide lineup of such materials and technologies.
In anticipation of a world that autonomous driving technology will permeate, the concept car also proposes a new form of satisfaction, which conventional vehicles could not have brought. The AKXY2 has very soft, movable cushion seats, instead of hard fixed seats. The seat layout can be changed, and the seats can be taken out of the car. The interior wall has a circumferential groove, into which you can insert a wooden table top. In addition, the carpet is changeable. The AKXY2 is therefore designed to enable users to customize the interior space as they like.
Strong trends toward changes, including the EV shift, have been bringing unprecedented ideas to the automotive industry, giving birth to unique designs and novel functions one after another into the world. The AKXY2 represents our belief that automobiles will provide more comfortable, freer spaces in the future. Why not experience the AKXY2 first-hand, by getting inside and touching it?
Society as a partner of automobiles
The COVID-19 pandemic has led people to reconsider their ways of using time and space. Some people now want to have their own room for remote work, while others now want to spend their time without close contact with other people. In response to this trend, the AKXY2 redefines an automobile as a private space where users can do what they want to while staying connected with society, whether or not the vehicle is moving. To realize the concept, the AKXY2 is designed to give users as great a feeling of openness as possible, with its entire upper half, including the roof, made of transparent resin, which is used as an alternative to glass. Users on board can see outside in all directions, 360 degrees, feeling as if they are in an open space despite actually being in a closed space. The AKXY2 is designed to allow users to sit on not only movable seats and sofas but also its front, rear and deck. Users can feel gently connected with the external environment, as if they are on an engawa (porch) of a traditional Japanese-style house.
Imagine driving to a campsite in a AKXY2 and gazing at the starry sky. You may park the AKXY2 on the roadside and enjoy a cup of tea with your friend. Or you can park it at your house and use it as your own room. We would be delighted if customers’ experience of the AKXY2 ignited their imagination to allow them to develop ideas for new uses for it or things they could do in it, and explore a new future for joyful automobiles together with us.
Behind-the-scene facts of AKXY2 development
Why does Asahi Kasei create future automobiles?
: Continuing to tackle the challenges of creating concept cars: the AKXY, the AKXY POD, and the AKXY2
It is said that the automotive industry is in an age of once-in-a-century drastic change. Why does Asahi Kasei, which is not an automotive manufacturer, create concept cars? What message do these concept cars embody? Learn more about how the concept-car initiatives have been launched and what aspirations the project members have.
The real AKXY2 will be unveiled at the Automotive Engineering Exposition 2022 in Yokohama.
We look forward to seeing many visitors there.