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LA Auto Show \ California Design Challenge

Entry: GMC PAD, General Motors Advanced Design, California

Team Members:
Steve Anderson Concept & Strategy, Design Manager
Senon B. Franco lll Exterior Design
Jay Bernard Interior Design
Digital Modeling:
Phil Tanioka, Sidney Levy, Brian Horton & Alessandro Zezza
Christine Ebner
Studio Director:
Frank Saucedo

Affordable Housing in LA?

The GMC PAD, an urban loft with mobility, a concept for living in the ever-changing cultural
landscape of Southern California or, quite simply, a modern alternative for those priced out of
Southern Californias escalating housing market. Its a home ownership concept that enables
cultural & geographic freedom for the modern city dweller. Its a concept that represents a
reasoned solution to the problems of urban sprawl, development, and its damaging effects on
the regions environment.

Why Commute?

With the PAD, your LA Adventure is your next stop. Its where you live, where you work, or
merely where you want to be. Whether located in walking distance from your job @
TBWA\Chiat\Day, spending a couple evenings along PCH, or wintering at Mammoth, with the
GMC PAD, home is where you want it. And commuting is what other people do.


The GMC PAD features a Diesel-Electric hybrid system, which acts as a generator for the onboard
power grid as well as propulsion for DriveMode. With the PADs resource management
technology, onboard fuel & water supplies would last for weeks or even months on end. During
daylight hours, the PADs SkyDeck features 6 M-Sq of photovoltaic cells that collect and store the
suns natural energy. An electromagnetic suspension aids in leveling & stabilization when the PAD
is being used in the LifeMode as well as remarkably easy handling while in DriveMode.

Life, connected.

Direct TV, OnStar, XM Satellite Wi-Fi and are continually online to provide an endless variety
of entertainment, information and security options and the PADs LCD interior architecture
creates a media rich environment unlike any other. Electronically variable exterior glazing means
privacy is always at your fingertips. The PADs rearmost area is devoted to a personal spa created
in conjunction with Kohler. The food prep / kitchen area features a full suite of PAD-specific
appliances developed by Thermador and, with a teraflop of on board memory, the digital life
has never been so deep & abundant.


The PAD has also been created with modularity in mind. As such, the vehicle could easily be
adapted for use in government roles such as disaster response and emergency housing as well as
public sector uses such as Star Waggons for the entertainment industry or on-site management
offices for events, construction, and media.


For outdoor living, the PAD features an integrated SkyDeck for enjoying the sights & sounds of
LA culture.
Contact: Steve Anderson @ 818.822.3063 or


Home is where the car is Home

Concept vehicle puts homeowners in the driver's seat
By Glenn Roberts Jr.
Inman News

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A concept car
created by a
design team at
General Motors
has a new spin on
home ownership.
short for Portable
GMC PAD (Courtesy of General Motors
Dwelling, is a
high-tech drivable West Coast Advanced Design Studio)
house that is at
home on the road or in a parking lot.
And it's not the mobile home that your grandparents drive to
Arizona each winter. Its designers envision a media-rich
"urban loft with mobility," with wall-mounted television
screens and wireless Internet capability. The vehicle also is
equipped with solar panels and a diesel-electric hybrid power
The PAD, dreamed up by the General Motors West Coast
Advanced Design Studio, took first prize this month in a Los
Angeles Auto Show design challenge. Judges dubbed the
vehicle an "LAV," or Living Activity Vehicle, and one judge
stated that the PAD represents "a new segment between the
RV and the SUV." The "L.A. Adventure" competition
challenged designers to develop a vehicle suited to Southern
California activities.
With a long tubular shape and futuristic design, the PAD (1 of 4)5/26/2006 1:50:01 PM


appears to be an exotic blend of yacht, space shuttle and

robotic inchworm.
"With the GMC PAD, home is where you want it. And
commuting is what other people do," according to
promotional materials prepared for the concept vehicle. The
PAD is an answer to the rising cost of homes -- housing
affordability is a big issue throughout California communities,
with home-price appreciation outpacing income growth.
"It's a home-ownership concept that enables cultural and
geographic freedom for the modern city dweller. It's a
concept that represents a reasoned solution to the problems
of urban sprawl, development and its damaging effects on
the region's environment."
The latest California Association of Realtors housing
affordability index found that about 14 percent of households
in the state and 11 percent of Los Angeles households could
afford a median-priced home in November 2005. Home
prices in the Los Angeles region shot up about 21 percent in
November 2005 compared to November 2004 -- from
$474,720 to $575,310.
"The fundamental premise was the idea that if you really
want adventure in Los Angeles, try to find affordable housing
for entry-level professionals," said Steve Anderson, who was
in charge of the concept and strategy for the PAD project.
The PAD was designed specifically for the auto show
competition, though Anderson said he's hoping that the
vehicle has the potential to go into production.
"Our true hope is that it does become a reality and we have
the opportunity to help it see the light of day. I think it's a
great solution," Anderson said. "There is by no means a
green light for production. We conceived it as a vehicle that
couldn't have been built yesterday."
Some of the necessary technologies would need refinement,
he said, and the concept calls for collaborations with other
companies, such as Thermador for kitchen appliances and
Kohler for bathroom appliances. "This is more like an
architecture project than a car design project," he said. The
effort shows that General Motors is looking beyond
transportation solutions to "lifestyle solutions," Anderson
added. (2 of 4)5/26/2006 1:50:01 PM


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The next step in the design process would be to build a scale
model of a PAD -- the vehicle now exists only as threedimensional computerized models.
PAD designers examined "current and traditional
assumptions of home ownership and why a young single
person or couple has to go home to the same piece of dirt,
the same house every night. This (vehicle) allows them to
have all of the comforts they would expect in a modern
dwelling, and park it close to where they work or where they
want to be," Anderson said.
In the 1970s, GM introduced a then-sleek and stylish
MotorHome. There was a 23-foot model and a 26-foot
model, with 15 available floor plans and four varieties of
interior decor.
The PAD is a smaller vehicle -- about the size of a large
FedEx delivery truck, Anderson said, with a ceiling height of
8 1/2 feet to 9 feet. Fully loaded, the GMC PAD might cost
about $250,000 to $300,000.
The biggest misconception about the PAD is that it is
intended as a recreational vehicle, Anderson said. "It's not
recreational at all. It's about living. It is as permanent as
absolutely possible."
Driving and sleeping are "two things that are kind of
relegated as subordinate activities" in the PAD design, which
leaves more room for a multimedia living room, a designer
kitchen and a personal spa area, Anderson said.
The target audience for the vehicle is young professionals for
whom "the sense of permanence in lifestyle isn't as
important as it would be later in life." The vehicle is designed
to house one or two people but probably is a bit too confined
for a family, he said.
The vehicle's diesel-electric motor would serve as an onboard power plant, generating electricity for the vehicle's
engine while running and powering up the vehicle's electric
systems while it is parked. The PAD would also come (3 of 4)5/26/2006 1:50:01 PM


equipped with solar panels.

If the PAD is purchased as a second home, owners may
qualify for special tax deductions, Anderson said -- boat and
motor-home owners can receive tax deductions if those
forms of transportation are equipped with a kitchen and
There are a number of possible specialized uses for PADs, he
noted -- the vehicle could be used as temporary housing at a
construction site or for disaster relief efforts. The
entertainment industry could use PADs to house movie stars
during a film shoot, and they could serve the media as
livable communications hubs. Anderson said he received an
e-mail from a man who lost his home last year to Hurricane
Katrina. "He said, 'If I'd had a PAD, I would still have a
property.' It was interesting validation."
PAD designers proposed exterior cameras that can project
images from outside the vehicle onto its large interior media
screens, and the large windows in the front and back of the
vehicle give owners the "opportunity to park beachside and
enjoy the views," Anderson said. The vehicle also features a
"SkyDeck" that provides views through large ceiling
windows. When privacy is preferred, occupants can flick a
switch to make the windows opaque.

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to or call (510) 658-9252, ext.
Copyright 2006 Inman News


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Home is where the car is (4 of 4)5/26/2006 1:50:01 PM