As tech companies become a key part of the auto industry, cars are looking more like giant computers on wheels. To understand why a tech giant like Apple might want to make a car, we built one out of iPhone parts. Photo illustration: Alex Kuzoian/WSJ
Fully autonomous cars are the future of transportation. And car makers have been releasing what they believe that future will look like one day. Here is a compilation of some of those visionary concepts.
Video timeline: 00:00 Honda Augmented Driving Concept 00:23 Toyota Concept-I 00:52 Audi Aicon 01:28 Volvo 360C 02:22 Jaguar Future-Type 03:15 Jaguar I Waymo I-Pace 03:45 Zoox 04:28 Nissan Intelligent Mobility 05:27 BMW Next Vision 100 06:09 Mercedes F 015 08:46 Renault EZ-Ultimo 09:37 Renault Float 11:00 Volkswagen Sedric 12:09 Nio Eve 13:16 Hyundai Project Elevate 14:00 Chrysler Portal Concept 16:36 Tesla Full Self Driving Demo 18:28 GM eVTOL
Rolla is a new way to travel the city.
An airport for flying cars will thrust the English city of Coventry into the future later this year, with a project aimed at demonstrating how air taxis will work in urban centers.
At CES 2021, GM reveals a flying car dubbed eVTOL. The electric flying vehicle is GM’s vision for personal transportation.
January 12, 2021 – General Motors today revealed a futuristic new Cadillac Vertical Take-Off and Landing Vehicle (VTOL) that is designed to ferry city-dwelling business people from rooftop to rooftop.
The Cadillac VTOL is described as an “all-electric, single-seat, well-appointed aircraft,” that can travel between skyscrapers at speeds of up to 55 mph, or 90 km/h. A vehicle such as this could be useful for businessmen and women that need to quickly get from one side of a major metropolitan area to the other for a meeting or another important engagement, bypassing any ground-level traffic that may be bogging the city’s streets down.
Airbus has revealed three concepts for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft which could enter service by 2035. These concepts each represent a different approach to achieving zero-emission flight, exploring various technology pathways and aerodynamic configurations in order to support the company’s ambition of leading the way in the decarbonisation of the entire aviation industry.
All of these concepts rely on hydrogen as a primary power source – an option which Airbus believes holds exceptional promise as a clean aviation fuel and is likely to be a solution for aerospace and many other industries to meet their climate-neutral targets.
The three concepts – all codenamed “ZEROe” – for a first climate neutral zero-emission commercial aircraft include:
•A turbofan design (120-200 passengers) with a range of 2,000+ nautical miles, capable of operating transcontinentally and powered by a modified gas-turbine engine running on hydrogen, rather than jet fuel, through combustion. The liquid hydrogen will be stored and distributed via tanks located behind the rear pressure bulkhead.
• A turboprop design (up to 100 passengers) using a turboprop engine instead of a turbofan and also powered by hydrogen combustion in modified gas-turbine engines, which would be capable of traveling more than 1,000 nautical miles, making it a perfect option for short-haul trips.
• A “blended-wing body” design (up to 200 passengers) concept in which the wings merge with the main body of the aircraft with a range similar to that of the turbofan concept. The exceptionally wide fuselage opens up multiple options for hydrogen storage and distribution, and for cabin layout.
Zoox Unveils Autonomous, Fully-Functional Taxi Of The Future. It can operate for 16 hours straight on a single charge, without the need for a driver.
Testing and AR After getting acquired by Amazon in the middle of this year, Zoox unveils its first fully functional, electric autonomous vehicle. The company, which is an independent subsidiary under Amazon, said that this driverless taxi is designed for dense and urban environments.
According to the release, Zoox was founded in 2014 and used a combination of artificial intelligence, robotics, vehicle design, and sustainable energy to reinvent personal transportation. They envision a safer, cleaner, and more enjoyable future for everyone. Zoox robotaxi has a carriage design and can accommodate up to four passengers seated face-to-face. Yes, there isn’t any steering wheel as the taxi is completely driverless. Apart from that, it can reach speeds of up to 75 miles per hour (121 kilometers per hour), as well as offers bidirectional capabilities and four-wheel steering. At only 3.63 meters (12 feet) long, it is compact enough to fit tight spaces and can change directions without the need to reverse. Power comes from a 133 kWh battery, which allows Zoox’s robotaxi to operate for 16 straight hours on a single charge. This battery capacity is one of the biggest available in the market as of date.
Apart from those, the Zoox autonomous taxi is claimed to bear 100 safety features that aren’t found on normal vehicles with drivers. These tech toys include an envelope airbag for carriage seating, touted as an equivalent to a five-star crash safety rating for all four seats. The vehicle also uses a combination of cameras, radar, and LIDAR to have a 270-degree field of view on all four corners of the vehicle, virtually eliminating all blind spots. The Zoox driverless taxi is currently in its testing phase in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Foster City.
As much of the aviation industry fights to survive the coronavirus pandemic, some economists and engineers see the crisis as an opportunity to use stimulus funds to propel air travel to a carbon-neutral future.
Photo illustration: George Downs
Every time Californian tech giant Apple puts out a new product, it makes headlines around the world. That was true of its early home computers – the first to use a recognizably modern user interface – and it was even more true of the iPod, which singlehandedly revolutionized the music industry. Not to mention the very smartphone you’re probably watching this video on.
But the world’s biggest and best-loved technology company isn’t done yet. For several years, now Apple engineers have secretly been eyeing up transportation as the next industry ripe for their unique brand of scorched-earth disruption. So today we’re asking the question – when will we see the Apple Car?
Designed to seamlessly jump from the street to the bike lane, this low-emission vehicle merges the best parts of cars and e-bikes into one to make it the ultimate daily commuter. It’s fast and stable enough to fly down the open road, yet light and agile enough to slide into the bike lane when things get backed up. The next step in mobility is here.
How do you bring total weather protection to an e-bike? This is the question our designers and engineers had to answer with the Future Mobility Concept. The solution is a totally-sealable passenger compartment surrounded by an innovative, panoramic capsule that strikes the perfect blend of form and function.
When not sealed to protect against the elements, the capsule can be slid forward along two rails to open the cockpit up. This ‘open mode’ is great when the weather is hot or if the rider wants that fresh-breeze feeling that comes with driving a convertible. The capsule even has enough space behind the rider to seat a child, load luggage or pack up groceries for the ride home. The capsule can then be slid even further forward for easy entry and exit of the vehicle.