Jason C Hill Speaks…

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Jason C Hill Speaks…

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Jason C Hill Speaks…

  • Jason C Hill Speaks…

     Ray Holan updated 1 month, 4 weeks ago 17 Members · 38 Posts
  • Ray Holan

    Moderator
    October 9, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    Jason Hill, Aptera Chief of Design, did a webinar on October 7th for transportation design students at the Cleveland Institute of Art. This was an event that I arranged with the help of Will Reynolds, Jason, and Doug Paige, professor of industrial design at the Cleveland Institute of Art. CIA has 300+ solar panels cranking away on the roof of its main building and sustainability is a big part of their approach to design education. The event was intended to serve as PR for Aptera, but also to afford the students an opportunity to hear from a professional in the field of vehicle design and learn how he worked through the myriad design choices that have been part of the development of the Aptera.

    I gathered a few pertinent quotes from Jason’s presentation that I thought might be of interest to us on the forum. I transcribed them from the recording of the presentation.

    Comments on Aptera Vehicle Features

    There will not be a logo on nose of vehicle. The backlit logo will be retained on both B pillars. Jason: “Similar to the Tesla cybertruck, the Aptera vehicle IS the logo.”

    There will be a center headlight cluster. Jason: “Central headlight is a legal requirement (for motorcycles and autocycles); all elements need to be around the centerline of the vehicle; our headlight efficiency is north of 50% while most auto headlights are 25-35%…(on avoiding placement of headlights on the angled surfaces on the far left and right of the Aptera body) pushing through angled surfaces, performance goes way down.”

    Yes, Aptera will have a steering wheel “yoke”, not a full steering wheel. This is to allow viewing of the side mirror cameras now placed directly in front of the driver.

    In regards to the mid-window bar in each side window: “You can’t do a full drop window AND maintain the proper aerodynamic shape. All the cool supercars have them going back to the Lamborghini Countach.”

    “The production design will be completed by middle of November 2022 and the plan is to head right to the production tooling from that design.”

    In response to a question about future vehicles from Aptera: “We’re on track to launch this vehicle next year (i.e. 2023) Any distraction against that becomes detrimental to the mission. Once we prove that it’s in the marketplace, then you can look at the evolution of the product, the evolution of the brand, and the evolution of the company which includes other products.”

    Comments on Aptera History

    On the demise of the original vision at the hands of the auto execs brought into the company in the 2006 time period: “They didn’t understand what is was supposed to be, so they tried to make it into something it wasn’t. It’s not supposed to be a car. It’s a different vehicle with different characteristics.”

    Referring to Aptera restart by Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony in 2018: “The Aptera story has a Hollywood movie arc to it — the heroes come back after almost being defeated.”

    “Aptera is choosing a spot in the vehicle market with a set of regulations we can get into using an achievable amount of capital.”

    “Brand identity demands that it (i.e. Aptera) be unique in as many aspects as possible. We know we need to be unique first before we capitalize on a bigger market.”

    On not trying to have Aptera compete head-to-head with 4 wheel vehicles: “You can’t compete with a 4 wheel vehicle — Ones a fruit and ones a mineral, they’re just completely different.”

    Other Aptera Statements of Interest

    “My vision was always to have the simplest interior possible.”

    One of the students raised the question of pushback received re: central screen — don’t people prefer tactile controls? Jason’s response: “There’s always pushback on pretty much everything”.

    On what it’s like to drive an Aptera: “You have a unique relationship with vehicle. I never used that term until I owned a Tesla model 3.”

    Is this a recreational vehicle or a daily driver? Jason: “I believe the pleasure that is going to be derived from ownership and experience of Aptera is much more aligned to fun and freedom. When I think of these, I think of ATV’s I think of off-road or zippy things around town.”

    3 wheels? Jason: “It starts with efficiency (i.e. reduced rolling resistance, less weight, and tapered body for aerodynamics) but also for capital vs. regulations that must be met to enter a market.”

    Is it a motorcycle or autocycle? (Note: some states categorize Aptera as motorcycle, others as autocycle) Jason: “Our mission was to have the most efficient vehicle in as many metrics as possible.”

    “We are starting with supplemental solar, but the goal is to get to almost primary.”

    Comments on Design in General and Philosophical Musings

    “Design at its core is problem solving.”

    “Design needs to be ahead of the curve. You’ve got to be way out front with optimism. Design for optimistic outcome.”

    What should designers do? Jason: “Satisfy the desire and take away the fear in a novel way. Effect real change in a positive way. That’s the mission of designers.”

    “I live on coffee and learning.”

    “Science fiction magically becomes fact.”

    “We change our environment. All other species adapt to the environment. However, we’re being more efficient through technology and through knowledge.”

  • Len Nowak

    Moderator
    October 9, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Good stuff…

    Thanks for doing/sharing!

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      October 9, 2022 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks, Len. Jason was very gracious and, of course, knowledgeable as all get out. He was very warm and encouraging to the students which was gratifying to witness.

      It was interesting to hear more about his pre-Aptera design experiences with projects like the Swatch car (predecessor to the Smart car) and the exterior design of the Porsche Carrera GT.

  • OZ (It’s OZ, Just OZ)

    Member
    October 9, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Ray excellent info, thank you for this. Any link to the video available, by any chance?

    (Link to this posted to Reddit, ApteraMotors sub.)

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      October 9, 2022 at 3:47 pm

      Hi, Oz. It was a Zoom meeting that I recorded in my personal Zoom account. The MP4 is about 167 MB. Footage is raw and unedited. It’s good in the main, but marred by garbled audio a couple of times due to issues at Jason’s end. He was on Aptera wifi. Go figure;)

      • Steve Lee

        Member
        October 9, 2022 at 10:48 pm

        Ray, if you could upload the file to http://www.wetransfer.com and send the download link to me, I’d be happy to put it up on the Aptera Owner’s Club youtube channel.

        my email is apteraownersclub at gmail.com

  • Aaron Redus

    Member
    October 9, 2022 at 5:51 pm

    Kinda bummed about the front logo going away. I really liked it when I saw the Gamma. However I’m guessing that with a center headlight, it becomes pretty invisible to both oncoming traffic and in rear view mirrors.

  • Len Nowak

    Moderator
    October 9, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    Yeah but another smooth finish an for lead manufacture….less wiring and light for the build

    ( Wasn’t there a concern with allowing a green light in the front of this classified vehicle ?)

    I suppose a decal, even reflective could be an option

  • Rupert Jung

    Member
    October 10, 2022 at 4:00 am

    >One of the students raised the question of pushback received re: central screen — don’t people prefer tactile controls? Jason’s response: “There’s always pushback on pretty much everything”.One of the students raised the question of pushback received re: central screen — don’t people prefer tactile controls? Jason’s response: “There’s always pushback on pretty much everything”.

    Phew… That’s – well – generic.

    • Lander Stoddard

      Member
      October 10, 2022 at 8:53 am

      Yeah, I had a similar reaction. That’s a non-answer. Or as they teach you in dealing with the media training – don’t answer the question they ask. Give them an answer that provides what you want people to hear.

      I suspect there has been a lot of heat on this one. And the design students know that research shows that people prefer tactile controls, which are more efficient and effective for users than having to locate and search through multiple levels of screens

      • Paul Kirchner

        Member
        October 10, 2022 at 9:19 am

        But he is correct. There is always pushback from every single design decision. Just a few inches above in this discussion is someone lamenting the fact that the front GLO logo is no more. And yet there were some people who were vehemently hating the front GLO logo. Now those people are happy but the front GLO logo lovers aren’t.

        So what do you do? I really think in the tactile control decision it’s coming from cost.

      • Ray Holan

        Moderator
        October 10, 2022 at 10:51 am

        Hi, Lander. Paul’s response nicely summarizes my take on Jason’s response. The quote from Jason I included in the original post on this thread was followed by his expanding on the notion that you can’t please everyone and (my read of his position) it’s the designer’s job to challenge existing notions — the result being that every design decision displeases somebody. He wasn’t taking a “if they can’t take a joke, screw ’em” attitude. I think he was saying realistically, there will always be lovers and haters on any specific design decision.

  • Jonah Jorgenson

    Member
    October 10, 2022 at 9:26 am

    Ray, Thanks for working t make this happen and especially going the extra mile to make it available on the forum. Useful information here. A lot to unpack here. My thoughts.

    Confirms headlight cluster we saw on the gamma. That will be on the delta and production.

    Confirms yoke on delta and production. Most of us knew and accepted that. The hold out for something else will need to go to third party after delivery

    Confirmed mid bar window design as a necessity. Again, if someone wants something different, third-party market

    Hope the statement on production design (Delta prototype) is accurate and that tooling can proceed from the CAD files is accurate as that means Aptera is well on the way to production line setup and testing, and other testing requiring a delta level vehicle

    Glad to see his statement regarding changes affecting the schedule moving forward “Any distraction against that becomes detrimental to the mission” should close out any desired/expected wants for changes in the production vehicle and assure all that we are in the final stages prior to production

    “Once we prove that it’s in the marketplace, then you can look at the evolution of the product,” certainly the right strategy at this point

    The statement about the first Aptera company at the hands of the auto execs “They didn’t understand what it was supposed to be, so they tried to make it into something it wasn’t. It’s not supposed to be a car. It’s a different vehicle with different characteristics.” A lesson for us to accept the Aptera for what the founders intended it to be.

    “You can’t compete with a 4-wheel vehicle — Ones a fruit and ones a mineral, they’re just completely different.” Like it or not, Aptera will be in competition with every other EV in the US market to include a plethora of low cost EVS entering the market in 2023

    “There’s always pushback on pretty much everything”. Judging by forum comments this is true. I think true in all development projects. Everyone thinks their idea is right and the developers are wrong. Kudos to Aptera for holding the line on their concept

    “We are starting with supplemental solar, but the goal is to get to almost primary.” Intriguing! This should start a ton of unfounded speculation!

    This information on design is out of my area of competence to comment on. I will stick to the engineering and program management stuff I am competent at.

  • Michael Marsden

    Member
    October 10, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    > “All the cool supercars have them going back to the Lamborghini Countach.”

    Just in case anyone wants to refresh their memory.

    https://www.lambocars.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/countss8.jpg

    I wanted one of these so much when I was a kid back in the 80s. Nearest I’ll ever get is the Aptera 😆

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      October 10, 2022 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks, Michael. I know many of us had a Lamborghini poster in a place of honor on our teenage bedroom wall!

    • Nathan Valentine

      Member
      October 10, 2022 at 9:40 pm

      I think it’s funny that the Countach windows were referenced in the context of aero. People who know a bit about the Countach know that “Countach” and “aero” don’t belong in the same paragraph.

      Now, the McLaren F1…

      Those window bars plus the door opening mechanism means you ain’t hitting up any drive-thrus. That’s arguably a feature though. 😁

      • Ray Holan

        Moderator
        October 11, 2022 at 6:02 am

        Hi, Nathan. Actually, Aptera made a video not too long ago showing the Alpha prototype going through a drive-through. It looked like the driver was able to grab their order — and that was the point they were trying to make in the video. Here’s the link: https://aptera.us/aptera-myths-debunked/

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  Ray Holan.

        Aptera Myths Debunked

  • Raj Giandeep

    Member
    October 11, 2022 at 8:30 am

    Quick photoshop to help you visualize how the front of the Aptera might look like with no logo if you continue the black forward. I think it looks pretty elegant.

  • Caden Tryon

    Member
    October 11, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    this is an amazing thing to read as it gives a good insight on how the design team thinks and why certain things have been done to the cars design. Thanks for this post

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  Caden Tryon.
  • Bob Kirchner

    Member
    October 13, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    Two comments stand out to me.

    The first “There’s always pushback on pretty much everything” strikes me as glib, and disregards the reasonable concerns of potential customers.

    The second “Design at its core is problem solving”, is more in line with my beliefs.

    At the intersection of these two statements is a key to understanding both. When design is employed to solve the manufacturer’s problems at the expense of the user experience (see: touch screen controls-cheaper to build, but annoying af for the owner) you get pushback.

    • Jonah Jorgenson

      Member
      October 14, 2022 at 7:39 am

      Here is my pushback

      I would cite Tesla being the most popular EV in the world with touch screen controls on a central screen. A lot of buyers for Tesla’s validate user controls on a central screen as an acceptable user interface. Hard to top number one

      • John Voules

        Member
        October 14, 2022 at 11:53 am

        Jonah, Tesla created the market. What they produced thus far and they still own the greater market share buyers know no different. If there is only 1 grocery store for miles, people will only buy what’s available there, healthy or not until there is competition. It’s funny that you can get a ticket for texting on the phone, but you are expected to use a computer screen almost exclusively. Let’s hope APTERA gets it right and has important buttons/switches or knobs for things that we can apply to our driving so we can carry out certain functions without taking our eyes off the rode.

  • Gabriel Kemeny

    Moderator
    October 21, 2022 at 11:14 am

    Most of the video from that interview at the AOC Youtube channel:

    Aptera’s Chief of Design, Jason Hill, presentation at the Cleveland Institute of Art – YouTube

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      October 21, 2022 at 11:36 am

      Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Gabriel. Jason and Steve are great people to work with. Glad they were able to agree on an edited version of the video footage.

    • Bryan Hendricks

      Member
      October 24, 2022 at 7:57 am

      I was surprised to see a HUD on the drawing at 14:45. I’d sure like to see that HUD make its way back into the design – but, of course, not if it introduces ANY delays.

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