HANDS-FREE FU­TURES

From a bed on wheels to in­tel­li­gent seats, au­ton­omy at its za­ni­est

Car (South Africa) - - INSIGHT -

Volvo’s 360c con­cept points to a fu­ture of travel that’s fully au­ton­o­mous, elec­tric, con­nected and safe. Sim­i­lar in size to the XC90 SUV, the 360c con­cept of­fers four in­te­rior con­fig­u­ra­tions: a mo­bile of­fice; liv­ing room; en­ter­tain­ment space; or, when trav­el­ling overnight, a sleep­ing mod­ule com­plete with a “re­strain­ing blan­ket” to keep snooz­ing pas­sen­gers safe. In ad­di­tion to Wi-fi net­work­ing, the 360c also interacts with other com­muters via an ex­ter­nal dis­play com­mu­ni­cat­ing the car’s in­ten­tions via colour, sound and move­ment.

The in­ext con­cept is BMW’S lat­est show­case for an X5-sized, se­lec­tiveau­tonomous SUV ush­er­ing in a cast of 12 new EVS within the next few years. BMW is coy with tech­ni­cal de­tails but has dis­closed it’s de­vel­oped its own pro­pri­etary bat­tery cells, which will fea­ture in var­i­ous con­fig­u­ra­tions across its EV range. To keep things suit­ably con­cept-zany, the in­ext also fea­tures “in­tel­li­gent” up­hol­stery that can be touched or swiped to con­trol cer­tain func­tions in the car.

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