Using live driving data and artificial intelligence, ZOE, an all-electric Renault, is writing a tribute to Jack Kerouac novel On the Road. The reason? Many people have range anxiety, right? So, according to Renault, people who follow this ZOE in prose form as it travels around 250 miles, or 400 km, on one charge will learn to lessen their range anxiety. The project has been authorized by the Kerouac estate, partially in celebration of the novel’s 60th anniversary here in 2017.
On the Road was based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across the US. It is widely considered a defining statement of the Beat and counterculture movements. Published in 1957, the novel was reviewed soon after by the New York Times, which called it “the most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named.”
Kerouac brainstormed On the Road by taking notes in a series of journals. Later, in a whirlwind, he typed out the entire novel on a continuous reel of paper over the course of three weeks.
“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” — Kerouac
Ah, now we see the Kerouac connection to the EV ZOE! ZOE draws on data points to compose an On the Road–type story based on existing temporal conditions from the internal and external sensors as the car drives through Stockholm. Each fanfiction story is different, depending on the driver and the inputs during each drive.