Self-Driving Mobile Living Rooms: 10 Car Concepts for the Next 50 Years
By SA Rogers, Web Urbanist, 15 November 2017.
By SA Rogers, Web Urbanist, 15 November 2017.
A couple decades from now, we’ll be able to summon autonomous shared vehicles both from our smartphones and from privately owned steering wheels that double as artificial intelligence companions in the home, clicking into place when the car arrives. In this imagined future, ride sharing and car sharing makes higher quality vehicles more accessible to a broader range of people, requiring luxury automakers to get a lot more imaginative in order to stay relevant - like creating Bentley SUVs with snow tracks. Plus, driverless tech means cars could become more comfortable, home-like environments, with cozy lighting and built-in gardens.
1. Mobuno Unit
Designed with car sharing in mind, the Mobuno Unit by Xoio and the Institute of Urban Mobility is sort of like a train of autonomous smart cars that can group large parties together for efficiency or break off to pick up new passengers or take them to specific destinations.
They’re extremely compact for easy urban parking, accessible via smart phone and able to squeeze tightly together. It’s not clear how the very low-riding body shape with enclosed tires would deal with inclines and bumps, and they’re certainly a bit strange looking.
2. Deep Orange 7 Mini Concept Car
Developed and actually built by a team of students at Clemson University in South Carolina, the Deep Orange 7 Mini concept car combines all of the traits the team expect to be desirable in personal vehicles in the year 2025 and beyond.
That includes an open design with a floating dashboard, a one-piece windshield and hood, and a personalized electronic display controlled by gesture that replaces the typical static instrument cluster.
3. ‘The Float’ Autonomous Car of the Future by Yuchen Car
Bulbous, hovering in air and ‘non-directional,’ this autonomous car of the future is a concept designed by student Yuchen Chai at Central Saint Martins, the winning entry in a competition judged by Renault. The idea is that the car is more open to the outside environment rather than feeling like a private pod for enhanced social connection.
It’s made of transparent glass and uses magnetic levitation so it looks like a bubble while in transit. It can move in any direction without needing to turn around, and multiple units can gather together. It’s also got sliding doors, rotating seats and the ability to change the opacity of the glass when desired. Of course, this concept isn’t exactly street-ready, but the idea is to radically re-envision what cars can look like.
4. Future-Type Jaguar Concept
Another look at a future in which anyone can summon a fully-charged autonomous electric vehicle on demand, the ‘Future-Type’ concept car by Jaguar has one particularly unusual feature: a removable steering wheel with voice-activated artificial intelligence.
It’s this steering wheel, rather than a smartphone, that you use to call a car – because that’s the only part of the car you need to own. It performs the usual Alexa-type functions like playing music, booking a reservation or integrating into smart home systems. When the car arrives, you take the steering wheel with you, plug it in and the car whisks you away.
5. Rinspeed Oasis with a Built-in Garden
Live plants and flowers certainly cheer up interiors, but have you ever thought about keeping them in your car, too? The Rinspeed Oasis self-driving electric concept car is a highly maneuverable urban vehicle with a small garden integrated just beyond the windshield.
Why? The idea is to make the car feel like an extension of home with a ‘living room ambiance’, including real wood floors, cozy lighting and plenty of interactive features, like tech that recommends restaurants based on what your friends have liked on social media.
6. Ride-Sharing Car Concept by IDEO
Combining the comfort and convenience of commuting in your own car with the lower cost (and fewer traffic headaches) of taking public transit, the IDEO concept focuses on providing shared vehicles for much smaller groups.
You can call one of the vehicles to you and use it alone, or enable ride-sharing, picking up other passengers along the way. Each seat can become its own private pod in ‘privacy mode,’ enabling a surrounding seat shell, which is something lots of us have wished for on public buses.
7. Wild Jruiter Consumer Car
Throwing our current ideas of what a car looks like completely out the window is Jruiter’s ‘Consumer,’ a concept that might just be one of the weirdest vehicles we’ve ever featured.
The designers wanted to eliminate as many conventions of car design as possible, hiding the wheels under the bizarre rectangular body and eliminating the top half altogether to provide more of a motorcycle-like experience. Except you’re in a giant rectangle.
8, 9 & 10. Three Luxury Car Brands Reimagined by Rain Prisk
Estonian designer Rain Prisk has created future concept cars for brands like Bentley, McLaren and Porsche, imagining new supercars that can handle conditions that typical Ferraris and other luxury vehicles aren’t quite up to.
The Bentley SUV gets snow tracks, La Ferrari gets a raised suspension, off-road wheels and a rooftop camper, and the McLaren P1 goes off the track and onto the trails.
Top image: Rinspeed Oasis. Credit: Rinspeed.
[Source: Web Urbanist. Edited. Some links added.]