Renault completes the trio of concepts that explore the idea of autonomous, electric and shared transportation with the EZ-Ultimo, a luxury self-driving vehicle.
The EZ-Ultimo has Level 4 autonomous capabilities, meaning there is no driver involvement. Radar, lidar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors connect the vehicle to infrastructure and a supervision center.
“For the year 2018, we wanted to really look into the future,” said Laurens van den Acker, Renault Group’s corporate design director. “The most interesting and exciting development will be when we switch from personal mobility, where you own your own car, to mobility services.
Renault believes that the EZ-Ultimo could be used by hotels or airlines to provide a luxury transfer option for guests or by private customers who could rent it for special events or for several hours or days.
Stephane Janin, Renault’s director of concept cars, said the EZ-Ultimo design team was influenced by the horse-drawn carriages of the 18th and 19th centuries, modern architecture (exterior diamond-shaped facets draw inspiration from Prada’s Tokyo store designed by Herzog & de Meuron) and Renault’s pre-World War I heritage as a luxury car.
When it comes to Renault’s reputation as a mass-market cars producers, Van den Acker said that although at first sight the idea of designing a luxury vehicle might seem incompatible, the aim is to democratize the luxury experience in the future.
“We’re not a premium brand, but we had a chance to make luxury accessible.”