Renault shares vision of electric ride-hailing with EZ-GO concept
10 March, 2018, 00:56 | Author: Laverne Higgins
French automaker Renault unveiled Tuesday at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show an electric self-driving auto concept that the automaker says could be part of a fleet of ride-share vehicles ready to be summoned by users as early as 2022.
Renault is jumping on the personal and shared mobility future bandwagon at Geneva with this fully autonomous prototype, which is just as electric as is fully automated.
Renault isn't the first auto maker to view an autonomous on-demand vehicle with many auto makers developing partnerships with current ride-sharing companies to help test and build autonomous cars and test future applications.
Renault also said that it would offer "highly competitive" prices in comparison to existing public transport services - although details about costs are yet to be revealed.
Renault hopes to target the EZ-GO to cities and businesses as a transit and ride-sharing alternative to services like Uber. Its benches are comfortable and made for lounging, without division between passengers; and its screens show useful information about the city.
When an Ez-Go is requested to a certain station, its floor extends out into a ramp so that passengers can depart easily.
With no driver's seat, and underfloor batteries in place of an engine, riders benefit from maximum cabin space.
It's also a connected vehicle, offering onboard Wi-Fi connectivity and induction charging for mobile devices. For example, Renault EZ-GO can display information about a tourist spot as it travels close by.
"You can choose where you want to sit when booking".
The EZ-GO has Level 4 autonomous driving capability; it can manage its distance from the vehicle in front, stay in lane, change lanes (as in overtaking) and turn all by itself at an intersection.
The EZ-GO features an electric powertrain that supplies power to the rear wheels, although the urban-oriented EZ-GO has a maximum speed of just 30 miles per hour.
Top speed is limited to 50km/h, the wide front opening is safe and away from the road for passengers when getting in and out, and a light signature that shows everybody around that it's in autonomous mode.
Outside, sounds are also emitted to signal the vehicle's presence to pedestrians and cyclists.
Ever since Louis Renault drove his first auto straight up the Rue Lepic, one of the steepest streets in Paris, to win a bet in 1898, the company he founded has had a direct interest in urban transport.
Outlining how the group plans to have ride-hailing robo-taxi commercial services by 2022 latest - enabling it to sell on-demand mobility services - the concept is created to transport people - up to six passengers simultaneously and be fully autonomous, including changing lanes when overtaking and managing junctions.
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