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Jaguar Future-Type Concept envisions car of tomorrow

Detachable AI-powered steering wheel central to Jaguar Future-Type Concept vision


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8 Sep 2017

JAGUAR is envisioning an on-demand car-sharing future with the reveal of its Future-Type Concept, an autonomous, all-electric and connected vehicle designed to “meet the mobility needs of future generations”, according to the brand.

Pivotal in the concept vehicle is the artificial intelligence-powered, detachable steering wheel dubbed Sayer – after the designer of the E-Type, Malcom Sayer – which is programmed to carry out hundreds of commands including summoning a car, playing music and buying groceries.

Functioning like a smartphone, buyers only need to purchase the steering wheel itself, not the entire vehicle, and can take the unit with them into their homes where it can hail vehicles when needed.

As for the vehicle itself, Jaguar says there will be multiple seating configurations for what is required in different situations including a 2+1 set-up that allows face-to-face interactions as the car autonomously drives to the destination.

The Future-Type will also be equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology that “will enable shorter distances between vehicles and make lane changing and exiting from junctions safer and more efficient”, said Jaguar.

The British brand is also envisioning that the Future-Type will be powered by an all-electric drivetrain, but given the vehicle’s concept status, no clues were given to the range, output or architecture.

Jaguar director of design Ian Callum said the concept vehicle offers a glimpse into how the brand could adapt to coming disruptions in the automotive industry.

“Future-Type offers an insight into the potential for driving and car ownership in the future,” he said. “It’s part of our vision for how a luxury car brand could continue to be desirable, in a more digital and autonomous age.

“Our Future-Type Concept is an advanced research project looking at how we can ensure an on-demand Jaguar will appeal to customers in 2040 and beyond.

“Whether it’s commuting to work, autonomously collecting children from school or enjoying driving yourself on the weekend in the countryside, if there’s a choice of on-demand cars driving around city streets, we need to ensure customers desire our 24/7 service over our competitors.”

By retaining the steering wheel, the Future-Type is also able to be driven manually when requested by the driver, assisted by semi-autonomous safety technologies.

Mr Callum said the dual approach to the vehicle of the future allows drivers the best of both worlds – a dynamic driving experience when available and an autonomous car for tedious parts of the journey.

“In a future age of on-demand services and car sharing, our research shows there will still be a place for luxury and premium experiences – and enjoying the drive,” he said.

“People will still want to travel in style and comfort, while the growth of car sharing actually increases the opportunity for people to experience what a Jaguar has to offer, even if they chose not to own one.”

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