Re­nault tar­gets shared mo­bil­ity

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

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.

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