National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which purchased Saab's assets back in 2012, is using CES Asia to show its vision of autonomous commuting. Owning a car is out in this particular mobility vision, and vehicles not only pick you up and drop you off autonomously, they change their interiors around your needs and whims. So you enjoy a personalized ride and can make the most of every moment.
In a perfect world, we'd be able to teleport from A to B in milliseconds by simply blinking our eyes, not wasting an unnecessary moment with travel. In the real world, of course, motor vehicle travel is a fact of life and, for many, a fact of daily life. Autonomous vehicles promise to make time spent in a car a bit less taxing by eliminating the need to physically drive, opening up more time for relaxation and leisure. The NEVS InMotion concept explores how the vehicle can further adapt to make ride time every bit as productive and enjoyable as time spent at home or work.
Designed as a car-sharing concept, the InMotion picks you up curbside, where its single butterfly door creates a wide opening, allowing all passengers to get in and out without having to walk into the street to the other side. It's not the prettiest car to ride the town in, but it's all about the interior, where a flex layout adapts to the rider(s), switching between private, meeting and social settings. The vehicle greets you upon arrival and shifts seating to your desired setting.
Private mode swivels your seat to face the wall, allowing you to get lost in your headphones, touchscreen or eyelids without even having to look at those around you. We think that one gets nicknamed "antisocial dick" mode in a hurry.
Social mode is the more traditional self-driving vis-à-vis layout, designed to facilitate conversations with other riders. Whether it's with friends you hailed the ride with or just strangers picked up along the way, you can chat the trip away.
Meeting mode swivels all seats to face the large transparent display on the door, which can be used for presentations, video conference calls or whatever's on the day's agenda.
Occupants can adjust interior lighting, seating and individual climate zone via an app, which cuts out the clutter of physical controls, keeping the interior clean. In-vehicle wireless charging keeps devices topped up.
More than just a vehicle concept, the InMotion is a brick in the foundation of a shared-vehicle mobility ecosystem. NEVS imagines commuters doing away with privately owned cars, instead relying on a fleet of self-driving electric vehicles, available on demand. These vehicles would come in various styles and sizes so riders would always have just the right travel tool for the trip at hand.
With fewer cars on roads and in parking lots, NEVS imagines arteries flowing more freely, promoting quicker, more efficient commuting. These Level 5 autonomous cars would also coordinate via car-to-car/infrastructure communications, further streamlining mobility. Not only is your time in transit more enjoyable thanks to the personalized atmosphere, it's shorter thanks to a more efficient transit system.
That picture-perfect, smooth-running mobility system remains a fantasy for now, but NEVS is making some related steps beyond just parading around a fancy showpiece. It announced last week that it will launch a car-sharing and ride-hailing mobility pilot program in Tianjin, China where it also has production and R&D facilities. NEVS will use a fleet of its 9-3 electric sedans for the program.
NEVS is showing a concept version of the 9-3 alongside the InMotion in Shanghai. Built to reflect Saab 9-3 heritage, the new all-electric 9-3 concept has a listed range of 186 miles (300 km). NEVS promises a suite of technologies, including in-vehicle Wi-Fi, battery management via smartphone, an advanced cabin air filter, and over-the-air software updates. The car will also have accompanying fleet features, including a digital smartphone key system, fleet management portal and smartphone vehicle control.
NEVS will build the 9-3 in China, with launch planned for 2018. It is also starting preparation of a crossover, the 9-3X.
Explore the InMotion a little more in the video below.