PARIS, France – Groupe Renault is using the 2018 Paris auto show to present its radical EZ-Ultimo ”robo-vehicle”, a sort of autonomous office / lounge whose main connection with any other automobile is that it has four wheels.
The French automaker describes the car(?) as an autonomous, electric, connected, and shared-mobility service solution that offers a premium travel experience.
It’s not really intended (should it ever go into mass production) for personal ownership. Instead, it will be an on-call autotaxi, rentable for a single trip, for an hour, even a whole day.
Renault sees the Ultimo as useful for, say, people wishing for a holiday tour of a city, a ride to an airport or as a corporate ”gift” to a visiting superexecutive.
Renault’s Laurens van den Acker told The Corner in a media release: “As consumer trends change and people enjoy ride-hailing services more and more, a new type of mobility will emerge.
”The EZ-Ultimo offers a unique luxurious experience aboard a robo-vehicle that can be adapted depending on the service provider.
“It was inspired by contemporary architecture and will provide an exclusive experience. We’re entering an exciting era in automotive design.”
The automaker explains further that the vehicle ”opens new arenas” for Renault design and says that, because it’s a robo-vehicle, the occupant(s) can enjoy the journey in a space designed like a personal lounge and equipped with all the comfort and services needed to relax or to concentrate.
The luxury starts with a wide, but automatic, opening and access on a seat mounted on a swivelling slide (see image, end of feature). For an intimate (Renault does not enlarge on how intimate!) journey passengers are protected from the hoi polloi by slightly transparent facets on the upper bodywork.
”The cabin,” the automaker adds, ”has French elegance. Tailor-made, it is dressed in noble materials such as wood, marble and leather, allowing passengers to enjoy a top-of-the-range and relaxing living space.”
The unit is said to have high-level autonomy for ”a wide range of use cases” and can adapt to an urban environment, to freeways, to a shuttle service on dedicated roads.
Renault says that, as mobility continues to evolve with connected and autonomous cars, customers will seek richer on-board experiences and completes the brand’s concept trilogy.
‘VISION OF TOMORROW’
It follows EZ-GO and its vision of shared mobility, and EZ-Pro, a vehicle robot dedicated to ”last-kilometre” delivery. EZ-Ultimo shares their modular platform and desire to create sustainable mobility for everybody.
”It is,” Renault Groupe says, ”our vision of tomorrow’s shared urban mobility.”