At the CES Asia show in Shanghai last week, NEVS, the Chinese successor to Saab, unveiled its InMotion autonomous people-moving pod that embodies its vision for urban transport of the future. Looking very much like a horizontal self-service elevator, InMotion offers users a high degree of customization to make their journey as connected and pleasant as possible.
InMotion is app controlled. Users can set the seating configuration, lighting, and sound system output remotely. It is powered by electric motors and charges using wireless technology. Doors open wide to promote mobility for all passengers and are located next to the curb to minimize the possibility of conflicts between passengers and other vehicles.
Inside, the side glass panels become screens for watching video content. The chairs can swivel to face in any direction and recline for those who want to catch a quick snooze on the way to work or to relax after a hard day’s night of serious partying.
The NEVS press release claims the InMotion concept was designed for a future where shared vehicles are the norm and private car ownership is less popular than it is today. Autonomous cars are expected to reduce congestion, as one self-driving pod could replace up to 10 cars on busy city streets.
The InMotion concept is similar to the Sedric autonomous people pod Volkswagen had on display at the Shanghai auto show earlier this year. When you come right down to it, there are only so many styling opportunities for horizontal elevators.
In fact, many manufacturers are working on similar vehicles. Elon Musk has said he thinks he could build a 10 passenger bus for urban driving duties using the chassis of the Model X electric SUV. Most industry observers predict citydwellers will soon tire of the fight to find an available parking space and struggle through congested streets.
Electric, computer-controlled transportation devices seem the perfect answer to urban transportation. What happens outside the city limits where suburbia sprawls to the horizon in every direction is still an issue waiting for a solution, however.
Source: CNET Road Show