The next big thing in luxury cars is combining the car and the chauffeur into one, as self-driving technology advances into the future.
Autonomous cars represent the future of automobile travel, despite the problems they sometimes have. While it can be difficult to relinquish control to a computer, self-driving cars are better-equipped to react to danger or other things than most humans. If it is a distracted human driver, or one driving under the influence, even more so. But what if you could pull out your luxury smartphone, open your favorite ride-sharing app, and summon a first-class lounge that would whisk you where you want to go? If automaker Renault has anything to say about it with its latest concept car, the EZ Ultimo, you’re just the kind of passenger they are looking for. At the 2018 Paris Motor Show, Renault unveiled its most ambitious concept car yet.
A Little Bit About Renault
The French automaker has been in business since the turn of the 20th century, had some trouble after World War II, but then went on to become the big name in French automobiles. They truly grew to prominence with their compact Renault 5 model, an economical auto perfect for Europe’s narrow streets and roundabouts.
The company didn’t have a luxury model for some years, until the company privatized in the late 1990s. Today, they are part of an alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi motors. It is currently one of the top ten automakers in the world, and Renault is the biggest seller of light vehicles. Yet, judging by this new concept car, they want to be known for innovation and luxury.
The EZ Ultimo
This car looks like something from an alien planet or a sci-movie set far in the future. It’s like a Batmobile from the future, come back in time to warn us of some terrible thing the Joker is going to do. The doors, such as they are, are covered in metal and lattice for a very unique look.
The glass panels on the side and the roof are tinted, allowing those inside to see out but no one outside can see in. The doors slide open, revealing what looks more like an airport lounge than the inside of a car. Surprisingly roomy, the cab of the vehicle is designed to fit no more than three people. There is a swiveling chair towards the front of the vehicle that faces backwards and a bench seat at the rear.
Alongside the edge of the car are shelves made with real marble and wood paneling. The seats are made of leather, and the interior lights are customizable with dimmer knobs. There is no steering wheel, no way for the passengers to take control of the vehicle. Of course, Renault is implying that by the time the EZ Ultimo would go into production, self-driving technology will be to the point where we don’t concern ourselves with such things. Yet, if we’re being honest, this car (and the other concepts like it) may never go into production.
An Aspiration for the Future
The EZ Ultimo, according to Renault, seems more like the replacement for your limousine or car service, rather than your favorite luxury car. The design of the cab alone suggests that they see this being the sort of vehicle services offer to passengers. Like the Rolls Royce 100, the Lagonda by Aston Martin, and other high-concept vehicles they are really just for fun. By the time the technology would be in place to mass-produce these vehicles, it’s likely that this design, futuristic though it may be, would be antiquated. Concept cars like these are moonshot vehicles. They are statements from their various companies that say: “We are looking to the future, and our ideas are better.
Still, even though the EZ Ultimo may likely never end up on the road, it’s still a marvel to behold. What do you think? Would you ever ride in one of these cars, or do you not trust autonomous driving cars yet? What do you think of the design? Let us know all of this in the comments below. And don’t forget to share the article on social media so your friends can get in on the discussion.