Peugeot Design Boss Says Autonomous Cars Can Have Sexy Looks

Peugeot believes that the rise of autonomous driving technologies could usher in a new golden age for vehicle design.

Speaking at the Paris Auto Show, where the French automaker revealed its retro e-Legend concept car, Peugeot design chief Gilles Vidal told Motoring that car designers shouldn’t ignore the freedom which self-driving vehicles give them.

“We see loads of prototypes looking like little pods, which can be fine and look like a science fiction movie, but there’s a danger the future might be very robotic and might lack soul,” Vidal said.

“In fact, if you watch most science fiction films the future is always dark and terrible. There’s no happy science fiction movie. I think designers should be more positive and look forward to a bright and interesting future.

“What we’re saying is you could take vintage shapes, it could be cool. Of course, our car still has all the same connectivity and functionality of a futuristic autonomous car.”

With the rise of autonomous technologies and electric powertrains, many car manufacturers have thrown style out of the window to design concept vehicles that focus solely on interior space and comfort at the detriment of attractive exterior proportions.

According to Vidal, fully-autonomous vehicles will probably come in a number of different shapes and sizes when they become commonplace in the middle of the next decade. This will likely include pod-like vehicles, those with a focus on design like the e-Legend, and traditional-looking vehicles with advanced self-driving abilities.

It remains to be seen if the e-Legend concept will find its way to the production line. With the sports car market shrinking, that’s not likely, but Vidal says he’d love to see it reach the roads.

“We made it in a realistic manner — even the wheel size is the same as a production car – so it’s not far from reality. OK, maybe the front overhang is too short for regs…”

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  • Craig

    Why would anyone want a cramped autonomous car? Isn’t the whole point to be able to put your feet up and relax as your car takes you to where you want to go? I say YES. So it would stand to reason that autonomous car buyers will want boxy and roomy. With lots of head and elbow room. And maybe even a table. And a fridge. AND AND AND…

    • pcurve

      seriously. I want mine with double bed, imax screen with the whole car wrapped in 1 inch thick dynamat.

      • Craig

        EXACTLY! Otherwise… why not just take the bus!

    • Cobrajet

      They already have a MPVs that can be adapted for autonomous driving like that, but leave the standard car styling alone.

  • Bash

    Peugeot Designers did seriously an excellent job designing this.

  • ejd1984

    Sexy Looks strongly imply fun Driving

  • LeStori

    Absolutely no point in being the “female passenger” driven around in a good looking autonomous car. The interior is where it will be, not the outsides.

    • TheHake

      Oeeeee that comment is going to bite you in the ass!

  • J-Triumf

    Except “sexy looks” is subjective, and honestly I find “vintage” car shapes to be ugly and boring. This Peugeot concept looks terrible, honestly.

  • Cobrajet

    Save the steering wheel.

  • Astonman

    this design is growing on me. A lot of cars are going the pod shape and this is refreshing.

  • TheHake

    I love it. Please make one with a ICE as well.

  • I honestly want a retro futuristic design, I know it’s sounds cheesy and in fact counter productive but I just think that as a price we pay for the new technology, can we at least had something to remind us to the past.

    • Bash

      I couldn’t agree more.

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