Tata Motors‘ luxury car brand Jaguar has shown off its Future-Type concept, a fully autonomous vehicle which can be summoned, in a fully charged state, on demand, offers ‘social’ face to face seating yet can still be driven if desired.
“Offering a glimpse into the future, it is a car for a world of autonomous, connected, electric and shared mobility (ACES),” Jaguar said.
The concept has what is claimed to be the world’s first intelligent and connected steering wheel. Sayer – named after the designer of the E-type – is the first voice-activated Artificial Intelligence (AI) steering wheel that will be able to carry out hundreds of tasks. It can summon a car, play music, book a restaurant table or stocktake a fridge. Sayer would signal membership of an on-demand service club which offers either sole ownership or the option of sharing the car with others in the community, meaning ownership only of the steering wheel, not the car itself.
“Need to be at a meeting two hours away from home by 8am tomorrow? Simply ask Sayer from the comfort of your living room and it will work out when you get up, when a car needs to autonomously arrive at your door and even advise which parts of the journey you might enjoy driving yourself,” Jaguar said.
“Future-Type offers an insight into the potential for driving and car ownership in the future. It’s part of our vision for how a luxury car brand could continue to be desirable, in a more digital and autonomous age,” said Jaguar design director Ian Callum.
“Our concept is an advanced research project looking at how we can ensure an on-demand car will appeal to customers in 2040 and beyond.Whether it’s commuting to work, autonomously collecting children from school or enjoying driving yourself on the weekend in the countryside, if there’s a choice of on-demand cars driving around city streets, we need to ensure customers desire our 24/7 service over our competitors.”
Jaguar envisages a fleet of fully-charged cars could be available for customers on demand. For the school run, with only two passenger seats required, a car with 2+1 social seating could be summoned and occupants chat face to face as the car autonomously drives to the destination using the most time and energy efficient route.
The Future-Type would also communicate with other cars and use cooperative driving technology. This collaboration will enable shorter distances between vehicles and make lane changing and exiting from junctions safer and more efficient. This will also increase road capacity and prevent accidents, while the narrow width would mean it takes up less space on the road and in car parks.
The driver could ask the car to drive autonomously during the stressful and tedious parts of the journey, such as in heavy traffic or roadworks, or if they prefer to do some work or choose to watch a film. But for occasions when a driver wants to enjoy actually driving, the concept retains a steering wheel.
This dual approach will allow drivers to choose either autonomous or assisted driving, with the assisted driver benefiting from the same advanced technologyat allows the car to drive itself. This work work in the background to make driving safer and more enjoyable with the car always alert and aware of situations developing over the horizon.
Callum added: “In a future age of on demand services and car sharing, our research shows there will still be a place for luxury and premium experiences – and enjoying the drive. People will still want to travel in style and comfort, while the growth of car sharing actually increases the opportunity for people to experience what a Jaguar has to offer, even if they choose not to own one.”