Italian design company Icona is present for the first time at the auto show in California, despite having established its Icona Design Los Angeles studio in summer 2016. Hiring 20 people including designers, modelers, and engineers, the studio receives more than 40 percent of his revenues from U.S. clients.
The rest comes from international projects from customers in Europe and China. Icona also has design studios in Turin and Shanghai.
The Nucleus Concept is the project that put Icona on the map thanks to its futuristic design and “human-centered mindset.” Some would argue that a car that doesn’t allow humans to drive isn’t quite “human-centered” but we’ll let that slide because Icona doesn’t see any reason for people to drive in the future.
Icona Nucleus is basically an autonomous car that embodies Icona’s vision for the future of mobility. It’s a Level 5 fully autonomous vehicle whose interior is freed up from the constraints of a typical automobile driven by human beings.
There’s no steering wheel or dashboard inside; instead, the cabin is described as a mobile living space “where the focus is no longer the road but the destination.”
The Nucleus’ lounge-like cabin features six seats including a couch for added comfort. There’s plenty of room inside, given that we’re talking about quite a big car. It’s 5.25 meters (17.2 ft) long, 2.12 meters (6.9 ft) wide and 1.75 meters (5.7 ft) tall.
Despite the rather massive body, it has a low drag coefficient of 0.25, thanks in part to an underbody diffuser and wheel arch aero blade extensions.