Arrival reveals first prototype of electric car developed with Uber
Back in May, UK electric mobility company Arrival partnered with US mobility-as-a-service provider Uber to work on an electric vehicle built for ride-hailing drivers and passengers. Now the first working prototype of the Arrival Car has been revealed.
The Arrival Car is being developed as part of an effort to move the estimated 30 million ride-hailing drivers across the globe to zero tailpipe emissions vehicles. And to take drawings and renders into the real world, Arrival worked with Uber drivers to provide the best experience for them and their passengers.
"The first reveal of the Arrival Car is an exciting moment for Uber drivers, who are switching to electric vehicles at a much faster rate than the mass market," said Arrival's Jamie Heywood. "Uber drivers have been working with Arrival to provide feedback on the design of the first purpose built, fully electric car for the ride-hailing industry."
Since a ride-hail vehicle could clock up an average of 50,000 km (~31,000 miles) each year, the company says that the design puts cost, uptime, driver comfort, safety and convenience in focus.
The fully working Alpha prototype of the Arrival Car reportedly occupies roughly the same external footprint as a VW Golf, but with twice the leg room for passengers as an average car of the same length. Passenger space can be increased again by folding down the front passenger seat and pushing it forward to the dashboard.
There's room for three passenger in the back, and if occupants look up, they are treated to an expansive infinity roof to take in the sights of the city as they roll quietly to their destination courtesy of the vehicle's battery-electric drivetrain – though no actual specs have been revealed at this time.
The design also sees the driver pushed forward and sat in an elevated position for improved visibility. All non-essential buttons, dials and cabin equipment have been stripped out, with most physical controls now activated using the touchscreen panel in the center of the dash. That display is also used for navigation, for digital instruments, to show vehicle status and more, but it could be used to host driver ID info for passengers.
Arrival is due to start testing the Car next month, and is already working on the next series of prototypes ahead of production. The video below has more.