Renault targets shared mobility
Renault has detailed its vision for the future of shared urban mobility with the reveal of the electrified and self-driving EZGO at the Geneva motor show last week.
Intended to be a city-based transport option that is available to children, the elderly and those who cannot drive as well as people who can, the EZ-GO can accommodate up to six passengers a trip.
Critically, Renault says the EZ-GO offers a highly competitive cost per kilometre, making it an affordable alternative to owning and driving a traditional vehicle or taking a bus, train or tram.
Available to order through a dedicated smartphone application, the EZGO meets ride-sharers at specific stations scattered throughout cities and could operate 24-7.
These stations are enveloped by trees, owing the EZ-GO’S environmentally friendly nature, and measure 7500mm long, 3000mm wide and 1000mm tall.
Comparatively, the 1700kg EZGO is 5200mm long, 2200mm wide and 1600mm tall with long 3800mm wheelbase that ensures plenty of interior space for occupants.
As there is no driver’s seat, a Ushaped sofa supplants the usual rows of seating in order to be more welcoming and create a community feel, according to the French car-maker.
However, in a nod to tradition, a steering wheel is provided at either end of the cabin – a necessary requirement given the EZ-GO is a level four autonomous vehicle.
This level of autonomy means the EZ-GO is capable of self-driving on recognised roads, but its top speed is limited to 48kmh to increase safety further.
Given the model is designed for the urban commute, this terminal velocity is appropriate for the type of traffic conditions that will be endured.
Designed with convenience in mind, the EZ-GO has an unusual trapeze shape that takes advantage of the interior space afforded by the rearmounted electric motor and underfloor battery pack that can be charged wirelessly.
Ingress and egress is aided by a large front hatch that opens upwards, allowing passengers to stand up when they enter and exit the vehicle.
Additionally, a ramp that measures 6000mm long and 1400mm wide extends from the EZ-GO to offer easier access to those in wheelchairs or on crutches as well as wheeling a suitcase or stroller.
While occupants are commuting to their destination, they can connect to the on-board Wi-fi network, charge their smartphones wirelessly and view trip information on a large display located on the front hatch.
Furthermore, during their journey, passengers are treated to an expansive view of the city landscape thanks to the EZ-GO’S large glazed side windows and panoramic roof that automatically darkens if outside light becomes too strong.
Renault’s 4Control four-wheel steering system allows for improved agility in the city environment, while an active suspension automatically raises ride height when on the move so that speed bumps are dealt with more easily.
When booking an EZ-GO, ride-sharers can customise their experience by choosing from several vehicles that have different sets of passengers, such as tourists who want a guided tour of a city.
According to the marque, the EZGO is just the first of several concepts it will debut this year, with the others to follow a similar theme.
Renault rolled out its Symbioz Concept at the Frankfurt motor show in September last year, with the model featuring level four autonomy and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity.
UP AND GO: The EZ-GO can accommodate up to six passengers a trip and is aimed at transporting children, the elderly and those who cannot drive.