Automotive

CAMAL reshapes the autonomous car into the horse-drawn carriage of the future

CAMAL reshapes the autonomous ...
CAMAL's press release doesn't address it, but it looks like designers are thinking of active glass that can change tint and appearance
CAMAL's press release doesn't address it, but it looks like designers are thinking of active glass that can change tint and appearance
View 27 Images
CAMAL teases the Viva autonomous concept
1/27
CAMAL teases the Viva autonomous concept
CAMAL's press release doesn't address it, but it looks like designers are thinking of active glass that can change tint and appearance
2/27
CAMAL's press release doesn't address it, but it looks like designers are thinking of active glass that can change tint and appearance
CAMAL doesn't list total motor power, but we know the Viva has at least 2 hp
3/27
CAMAL doesn't list total motor power, but we know the Viva has at least 2 hp
We're genuinely not sure why CAMAL chose to go with horses for what otherwise seems like a serious concept car design
4/27
We're genuinely not sure why CAMAL chose to go with horses for what otherwise seems like a serious concept car design
The CAMAL Viva gives the autonomous vehicle a new look
5/27
The CAMAL Viva gives the autonomous vehicle a new look
The Viva has 79 in (2 m) of height to go along with its 276 in (7 m) of length and 98 in (2.5 m) of width
6/27
The Viva has 79 in (2 m) of height to go along with its 276 in (7 m) of length and 98 in (2.5 m) of width
If you're looking to get noticed, this'll work better than any other car we can think of
7/27
If you're looking to get noticed, this'll work better than any other car we can think of
The Plexiglass panels up front are inspired by the traditional car grille
8/27
The Plexiglass panels up front are inspired by the traditional car grille
The illuminated panels open when switching between carriage and autonomous modes
9/27
The illuminated panels open when switching between carriage and autonomous modes
The Plexiglass panels up front are inspired by the traditional car grille
10/27
The Plexiglass panels up front are inspired by the traditional car grille
The Plexiglass panels up front are inspired by the traditional car grille
11/27
The Plexiglass panels up front are inspired by the traditional car grille
Instead of horses, we think CAMAL should have played with making that pod-like body interchangeable with other styles, but perhaps that seemed too close to its Edit project
12/27
Instead of horses, we think CAMAL should have played with making that pod-like body interchangeable with other styles, but perhaps that seemed too close to its Edit project
CAMAL shows the new Viva concept
13/27
CAMAL shows the new Viva concept
CAMAL shows the new Viva concept
14/27
CAMAL shows the new Viva concept
Not coming to streets near you
15/27
Not coming to streets near you
CAMAL's spherical tire appears based on the Goodyear Eagle-360 concepts
16/27
CAMAL's spherical tire appears based on the Goodyear Eagle-360 concepts
While some aspects of the Viva are quite ridiculous, we do like seeing the Goodyear sphere put to work
17/27
While some aspects of the Viva are quite ridiculous, we do like seeing the Goodyear sphere put to work
So not only will two horses pull this huge thing, there'll be enough waste energy to charge the batteries
18/27
So not only will two horses pull this huge thing, there'll be enough waste energy to charge the batteries
CAMAL hasn't detailed the interior too much but does show two two-seat benches facing each other
19/27
CAMAL hasn't detailed the interior too much but does show two two-seat benches facing each other
The benches look like they melted in place
20/27
The benches look like they melted in place
CAMAL shows the new Viva concept
21/27
CAMAL shows the new Viva concept
CAMAL shows the new Viva concept
22/27
CAMAL shows the new Viva concept
CAMAL-designed OSVehicle Edit
23/27
CAMAL-designed OSVehicle Edit
The "Edit" name references the fact you can easily change the look with different body sections 
24/27
The "Edit" name references the fact you can easily change the look with different body sections 
The Edit is designed with all levels of autonomy in mind
25/27
The Edit is designed with all levels of autonomy in mind
CAMAL-designed OSVehicle Edit
26/27
CAMAL-designed OSVehicle Edit
CAMAL-designed OSVehicle Edit
27/27
CAMAL-designed OSVehicle Edit
View gallery - 27 images

Automakers and design studios have spent much time exploring the new possibilities that semi- and fully autonomous technologies open up inside the car, but not as much time pondering the new exterior possibilities. With electric motors and autonomous tech running the show, future vehicles could take on very different shapes and forms than the ones we've become accustomed to. The CAMAL Viva concept shows plays with one such form, a pod-like, three-wheeled carriage drawn by technology (and actual horse power).

So far, automakers and design houses have seemed content to package autonomous design into either traditional car form or some version of a rolling bubble-pod. This seems a bit uncreative, given that autonomy and electric powertrains eliminate the need for a hood, clear, upright front and rear windshields, and traditional front-facing seats.

Sure, that freedom has given way to vis-à-vis seating and the aforementioned bubble-pods, but why aren't we seeing all kinds of different shapes and layouts? Why not go nuts with aerodynamics and efficiency and create a passenger car streamliner built to bullet ahead with as little wind resistance as possible? Maybe a rolling ground plane, like the Acabion Da Vinci or some of those space-age concepts from the 50s and 60s? We're just talking concept cars – they don't have to meet regulations or be practical or feasible for production, just flash a vision of what could be possible beyond eggs and semi-rounded cubes.

Be careful what you wish for.

With the Viva, Italian design studio CAMAL, whose previous work includes an 800-hp off-road supercar, lets its creative juices flow more freely than most ... so freely, the whole thing goes tumbling off a cliff. CAMAL plays liberally with forms and dimensions, creating a very different style of autonomous car it envisions as the future's own horse-driven carriage – quite literally.

Not coming to streets near you
Not coming to streets near you

The stretched 276-in (7m) long , 98-in (2.5m) wide three-wheeler has a smooth, pod-like body held up by an exposed chassis with thick side runners. To put that stretch into perspective, the Viva is about 10 in (254 mm) longer than a long-wheelbase Ford Super Duty with crew cab and 20 in (508 mm) longer than the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman – or it would be, if it existed off paper. With only four seats, it definitely won't feel cramped.

Where CAMAL really gets creative is in replacing the usual two rear wheels with a centrally mounted sphere. It refers to it only as a Goodyear sphere, so we'll assume it's one of the Eagle-360 spherical concept tires Goodyear showed at the 2016 and 2017 Geneva Motor Shows. The axle-less Eagle-360 tires rely on magnetic levitation, offering advanced maneuverability and integrated suspension. The Viva's rear sphere would help the mega-long car swing its tail around corners and tight spaces. Up front, the Viva has a more traditional dual-wheel set-up below its runners.

CAMAL's spherical tire appears based on the Goodyear Eagle-360 concepts
CAMAL's spherical tire appears based on the Goodyear Eagle-360 concepts

Where the Viva concept sort of runs off the rails is in CAMAL's addition of actual horses in a sort of 19th century-meets-21st century hybrid layout. Those two horses aren't just there to create an artistic picture; they actually pull the Viva during basic, everyday commuting. Should they start to tire or slow, the electric motors cut in to take over some of the workload. The horses can also be unhitched, allowing the Viva to maneuver autonomously under electric power alone. So add hitching posts and water troughs to the list of infrastructural upgrades this particular autonomous car will require to operate effectively.

CAMAL hasn't done much with the interior, showing only that it puts an asymmetrical spin on the concept of vis-à-vis benches.

CAMAL hasn't detailed the interior too much but does show two two-seat benches facing each other
CAMAL hasn't detailed the interior too much but does show two two-seat benches facing each other

We had to mention it, but if you go ahead and ignore the whole horse-and-buggy sideshow, and just think of the Viva as an electric car with autonomous capabilities, it's an interesting and very different autonomous concept.

Needless to say, the Viva won't be giving way to a production version – ever – but hopefully it will inspire more creative autonomous concept cars from other parties, pushing the limits of autonomous design.

CAMAL-designed OSVehicle Edit
CAMAL-designed OSVehicle Edit

The Viva isn't the first autonomous concept that CAMAL has revealed in recent months. The Edit concept, designed for OSVehicle, is a highly modular design with all levels of autonomy, 0 through 5, in mind. The concept combines OSVehicle's Tabby Evo electric vehicle architecture with four interchangeable body molds, providing many possibilities atop a single platform. You can learn more about it in the video below.

'EDIT' EV for Services by Open Motors

Source: CAMAL

View gallery - 27 images
2 comments
ei3io
horse apples i say unless dyson has vacuum for it,,,
sk8dad
For the love of all things good...why? How about a fully autonomous dog sled? I mean, if we are going retro for the sake of being different, why not ditch the wheels altogether? Oh and let's make it out of wood, no, better yet, out of rocks?