With autonomous vehicles developing quickly and captivating the imaginations of the public, the world’s automakers have been hard at work dreaming up the self-driving vehicles of the future. This is Renault’s vision.
The Level 4 autonomous shuttle is designed to accommodate up to six passengers, with glass all around to provide unobstructed views of the cityscape around them. Ingress and egress are enabled via a huge door opening from the front and top of the vehicle when it pulls up at what Renault envisions would be dedicated “bus stops” specifically for the EZ-GO.
At 5.2 meters (204.7 inches) long, 2.2 meters (86.6”) wide, and 1.6 meters (63”) tall – 1.8m/71” with the hatch open – the EZ-GO is a bit bigger than a MPV like Renault’s own Espace or even than a larger, American-style minivan like the Toyota Sienna. But with only a single electric motor and a 300-kg (66-lb battery) to schlepp, it weighs just 1,700 kg (3,748 lbs).
The French automaker figures it can get away with the low-output powertrain since the vehicle is designed only to travel within the city (not on intercity highways) at speeds no higher than 30 miles per hour (50 km/h). Four-wheel steering helps with low-speed maneuvering.
“We designed Renault EZ-GO to be an iconic symbol for cities. This electric, autonomous concept explores the positive potential impact of shared mobility for all,” said chief designer Laurens van den Acker. “Visually appealing and integrated in the urban environment, it offers an unprecedented 360 degree ‘open window’ on the city and a convivial space for people to relax and enjoy the ride.”
Rather than pitching the vehicle for personal purchase and operation, Renault has designed the EZ-GO for transport companies (whether public or privately incorporated) as a complement to – not a replacement for – existing public transit platforms like buses, subways, and light rails. It could be on to something. And if it is, we could see vehicles like this running through our cities in the not too distant future.
Post updated with live images from the Geneva Motor Show