Innovation | 23 February 2018

Getting Comfortable with Driverless

2'30 min
Autonomous driving will be all about enjoying travel time in a more useful and entertaining way. To meet these expectations, Renault is working with engineers, computer programmers and even anthropologists to build an automobile people enjoy traveling in.
by Emmanuel GENTY

One of the untold benefits of autonomous vehicles (AV) is all the free time they’ll generate. That reality will enhance the user journey by turning cars into mobile entertainment hubs in which passengers will get to read, stream movies and even socialize with other riders.

Autonomous driving will be all about enjoying travel time in a more useful and entertaining way. To meet these expectations, Renault is working with engineers, computer programmers and even anthropologists to build an automobile people enjoy traveling in. Passengers in the not-too-distant future will have a plethora of options to keep them comfortable and entertained during their commutes.

With that in mind, last year, Renault purchased a 40 percent stake in Challenge, a French media company. At first blush, an auto manufacturer’s foray into media might come as a surprise. But with this acquisition, Renault is laying the groundwork for a new driving experience. By 2025, all vehicles will enjoy onboard, connected technologies, such as screens for riders to stream content during their daily commutes.

Many cars already have screens. But in the future, one can expect enhanced screens and improved connectivity, that could for example, let commuters email, work or dial into a conference call. Or, they could disconnect from work and stream a movie or browse an online magazine. All in all, the stronger connectivity will make for a much better experience and a much more comfortable user journey.

In addition to improving in-car connectivity, autonomous vehicle manufacturers will also rethink the sound of travel. To define the sonic identity of Renault’s SYMBIOZ autonomous concept vehicle, it teamed with music composers to put together an audio portfolio that covers everything from the sound of the turn signal to the horn, and even the engine. The company also worked with Devialet, one of the world’s most innovative audio companies, to redefine automotive travel experience through sound spatialization and diffusion.

In a world where everyone is a passenger, car seats must change to meet evolving needs. Renault’s Symbioz Demo car brings ergonomic, loungy seats that encourage socialization in autonomous vehicles without compromising safety. Imagine a stress-free work commute where one doesn’t have to drive, but still gets to converse with fellow commuters. With daily work commutes accounting for the largest share of the global mobility market, autonomous cars will enable riders to reclaim countless hours.

The driverless future is closer than most people think. While it is easy to marvel at the technology that allows a car to drive itself, the autonomous vehicles that will stand out from the pack are the ones with the best, most comfortable user experience. That’s why Renault is putting so much energy into developing autonomous technologies for an impressive driverless future—no matter who isn’t driving.

Attribution:
Alliance mobility customer survey Europe USA Japan China – GFK for Alliance MI and Future Lab (2017)
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-13/renault-strikes-magazine-deal-to-entertain-robo-car-passengers
http://www.businessinsider.com/concept-cars-self-driving-tech-2017-9
https://media.group.renault.com/global/en-gb/renault/media/presspacks/21201092/renault-symbioz-demo-car-lexperience-de-demain-commence-aujourdhui-autonome-electrique-et-connectee

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