Peugeot has revealed the official images and details for its Instinct Concept. It is on show at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week and later, will take stage at the Geneva Auto Show.
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Peugeot has confirmed that the concept will not go into production. However, it still presents a glimpse of what fully-autonomous cars might look like once they hit the market, around 2025.
And here are five key things we picked out.
Internet of Things
By using Samsung’s ARTIK IoT platform, the Instinct Concept previews how cars can be connected to the owner’s smartphone, TV, social media, house and home appliances. Subsequently, the vehicle can compile a profile about the owner- table his music tastes, appointments, meetings and even his fitness schedule. This, in turn, can be used to assist the owner in his day-to-day operations.
For instance: when you start the engine of the car, the doors of your home will get locked. Meanwhile, the navigation system can look up the details of your upcoming appointment on your smartphone and suggest when you should leave so that you don’t get late.
Future autonomous cars won’t have aeroplane-inspired cockpits- filled with instruments and buttons, even though that gives a very geeky feel to the car.
Rather, as shown in the Instinct Concept and many other autonomous car concepts before that (see: Chrysler Portal Concept and Mercedes-Benz F015 Concept), the cabin will be minimalist and simple. With lots of screens but not enough to make the interiors clustered.
To maximize fuel economy and performance, active aero won’t be limited to sports cars such as the Porsche 911s and the Ferraris in the future.
Peugeot’s concept gets an active air-blade on the front, which is deployed at 90 km/h to improve downforce, an active spoiler and air ducts on the front doors to direct air out to the rear wheel arches.
Autonomous Driving Modes
The Instinct Concept features two settings for autonomous driving- ‘Soft’ and ‘Sharp’.
As the name suggest, the ‘Soft’ drive mode will mean a sedate commute, during which the owner can relax, read a book or watch a movie. However if he is in a hurry to reach his destination, he can select the ‘Sharp’ drive setting- which will have the computers drive the vehicle in a quicker and spirited manner.
Not only does this feature sound exciting on paper, it’s something that the purists, who are iffy about autonomous cars, might like. According to Autocar, by downloading a software, owners can be virtually driven by someone with skills of a professional racer. Thus, drivers could enhance their own skills by analysing how the computer takes on different corners and curves- when it brakes, how much steering input it gives and so on.
PHEV or EV?
Notably, the Instinct Concept gets a plug-in hybrid powertrain instead of an pure-electric one. Now, it can be argued that the drive configuration of a concept doesn’t matter. But, after autonomous tech, electrification is the biggest change we are expecting from the motor industry going forward. And given that Peugeot sees a car in 2020s with Level-5 automation as a PHEV suggests that large-scale adoption of EV is farther away than we anticipate.