Renault is a multinational automobile manufacturing company headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. The company maintains extensive alliances with automobile manufacturers in other countries, including Nissan and Mitsubishi in Japan, Daimler in Germany, and Samsung in South Korea.
The company is well-known for its namesake model of cars as well as other models, including Formula One racing cars and several electric and hybrid vehicles. Renault was founded in 1898 and has provided continuous innovation in its technology and designs since then. It is natural that the company would also research and develop technology that could be useful in the development of self-driving cars.
The Renault ISymbioz is a concept car that the company debuted in December 2017. As a concept car, the technology in it is currently under development. This autonomous car has SAE Level 4 autonomy. This means that the vehicle is able to operate with little to no input from a driver. The vehicle has several high-tech features on the inside and the outside. On the inside, there are three large high-definition monitors. Passengers can use the monitors to look up directions, information, or watch movies. This self-driving car has an all-electric engine. On the outside, the headlights change color when the car is in autonomous driving mode. The Renault company’s goal is to have this sort of a self-driving car in its production line by the year 2030.
The Renault EZ-GO is another concept car, but this one is intended to be for use in ride-sharing enterprises. It was debuted at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March of 2018. This Renault EZ-GO concept car is all-electric. As a self-driving car, it ihas SAE Level 4 autonomy. This means that the Renault EZ-GO would still need some input from a human. It is possible that the company could add technology to boost it up to an SAE Level 5 autonomous car.
The company aims for this type of a car to be used for ride-sharing services in large urban centers. The plan is for riders to hail the Renault EZ-GO with an app. Another option that the company is considering would be to have the Renault EZ-GO circulate through a city sort of like a bus with designated stations where passengers would wait to board and get on or off. The Renault company believes that this type of a service has the potential to reduce traffic congestion in large cities because more people could get around in just one autonomous car.
Specifications for the Renault EZ-GO
The Renault EZ-GO will have a top speed of about 30 miles per hour. This could work in dense urban environments on the local streets, but it would not work on the interstates and outer belts that encircle an urban center. An advantage of the Renault EZ-GO platform is that it is modular. The company plans to use that platform to introduce additional Renault EZ-GO models throughout 2018. Although the Renault EZ-GO is not likely to become a production car, the company does have plans to release autonomous cars for use in ride-sharing services by 2022.
Use of the Renault EZ-GO
Another use of the Renault EZ-GO concept car could be as a private reservation service. The company envisions a group of six tourists using the self-driving car as a sort of private tour bus in a large city. The riders could input the places that they want to visit, and the autonomous car would take them there.
Renault also predicts that people could appreciate its safety features, such as having a group of women ride in it together at night for safety in numbers. The Renault EZ-GO has a large expanse of windows, so people on the outside can see what is going on inside of the self-driving car. Renault suggests that the windows would provide a nice view for the passengers to enjoy as well as increase the safety of the self-driving car.
What Renault Has Done and What It Wants to Do
Renault has put years of research into the technology of autonomous cars. Its current production vehicles have advanced driver assistance services, such as automatic emergency braking that provides safety and operational assistance but still requires driver intervention. Renault explains that these services are a sort of gateway to the more autonomous features that its cars could have in the future.
The company’s goal is to free up the time of the driver and the passengers so that they do not have to focus on operating and navigating the vehicle. The company plans a “mind off” mode, which would allow the riders to use the vehicle’s connectivity features in order to be productive. Riders could check their work email, watch informational or entertaining videos, or converse with the passengers without the risks of distracted driving.