At CES 2015, the Mercedes Benz F 015 concept car stunned audiences with its luminous interpretation of the future of autonomous transportation. With its swiveled seats and luxurious exterior slopes and curves – not to mention a slew of interior features like 6 window display screens and a widescreen digital panel for additional controls and monitoring – the F 015 prototype continues to dazzle reporters and industry insiders lucky enough to experience this sexy beast in action. In a recent press release, however, and not to be outdone, GM introduced their version of a self-driving concept car that at least on paper, makes the F 015 look like a shabbily dressed older cousin from the 1980s.
Introducing the Chevrolet FNR
Developed in Shanghai by GM’s Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) joint venture, the Chevrolet FNR combines bona fide futuristic sci fi with a healthy dose of Tron-like aesthetics. The FNR’s sleek, capsule design is truly a work of art, and one of the most compelling coming from GM since the Chevy Volt. And aside from sporting crystal laser headlights and taillights and “dragonfly” swinging doors, perhaps the most jaw-dropping feature is the FNR’s magnetic hubless wheel electric motors.
The Chevrolet FNR’s interior ambitions are no less impressive, featuring “a roof-mounted radar that can map out the environment to enable driverless operation,” front seats that can swivel 180 degrees and iris recognition software. This concept car also incorporates gesture control allowing convenient toggling between manual and automated driving.
According to GM Media’s website, the design team behind the Chevrolet FNR had younger consumers in mind all along, making sure to include plenty of “innovative car networking technology.”
Although futuristic concept cars like these are far from seeing the light of commercial mass production, if ever, it gives designers, engineers and software developers an opportunity to push beyond the boundaries of conventional car design. If we get even a fraction of these elements into “normal” futuristic car designs, we’re in for a real treat, and plenty of debt.