By the end of 2019, an estimated 4.2 billion people worldwide will live in an urban environment, and researchers expect that number to continue to grow over the coming decades. At this rate, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities within the next 10 years. That rapid pace of urbanisation will present us with several complex challenges, one of the most urgent will be the safe transport of residents, their belongings, and the consequences it has for livability and its effect on the environment.
How will we prevent our roads and cities from becoming congested with cars and commercial vehicles, for example? At DDW, Renault presented its vision of this ‘mobility of the future’. Pioneering in automotive mobility, the French car maker began producing 100% electric vehicles more than nine years ago.
Futuristic concept cars
At DDW, Renault presented innovative technologies and ideas for a more efficient, sustainable, and safe urban transport of both goods and people. The result was the Dutch premiere of three futuristic concept cars. EZ-GO, EZ-PRO and EZ-ULTIMO are all 100% electric-powered and can drive autonomous when necessary. In the vision of Renault, these cars of the future will no longer be personal property, but rather part of a wider ecosystem of shared transportation services. You’ll be able to order transportation via an app, and it will drive to your door at the moment you need it. In trade jargon, this concept is referred to as ‘Mobility as a Service (MaaS).
Mobility as a Service
Renault is currently one of the largest suppliers of European electric shared car projects. Drivers will no longer be owners, but rather subscription holders: in exchange for periodic payment, they can use a shared car whenever they need it.
They reserve a car conveniently via an app and then pick it up at the closest location in the city. In the future, Renault will expand this practical and sustainable concept via the Mobility as a Service concept, where shared mobility includes much more than just borrowing a shared car. The user will be able to use the app to reserve a car, but also to plan and pay for their continued journey by train or airplane, for example.
The use of the ‘shared car of the future’ will also become more multi-functional, as exemplified by the self-driving EZ-GO, EZ-PRO and EZ-ULTIMO at DDW. “EZ-GO will democratise travel by car, including groups for whom it would normally be out of reach”, explains the influential Dutch designer Laurens van den Acker, who has served Renault as Executive Vice President Corporate Design since 2009. “People who don’t have a driver’s license or who can’t buy a car, for example. They can just make a reservation, and then hop in the car anywhere in the city.”
The front entry, which opens like a science fiction space capsule, also makes EZ-GO accessible for disabled persons. In addition to seating for six, the spacious interior offers place to store luggage, a comfortable sofa-like bench, and large screens for working on the go. “With its four-wheel steering, EZ-GO is maneuverable enough to navigate through the cramped streets in the city centre”, Van den Acker adds. “And its expansive greenhouse windows provide an unprecedented view of the surroundings.”
EZ-ULTIMO is a more luxurious version of EZ-GO. Van den Acker: “The design of the interior and exterior exudes a neo-retro style - an homage to 120 years of the history of Renault and its luxurious pre-war models. The spacious cabin is equipped with a comfortable armchair and sofa. The knobs for light and sound are inspired by those used on advance audio amplifiers. Materials like wood and marble enhance the feeling of sitting in a VIP lounge.”
Unique premium service
Even these deluxe lounge vehicles will be available to everyone. Imagine reserving one for a special evening out, to arrive at a party, gala premiere, or formal dinner in style. That concept is perhaps best expressed in Renault’s design philosophy: French Design, Easy Life. Van den Acker: “Our mission is to provide sustainable mobility for everyone. With our vision for this robotic vehicle, we can introduce a unique premium service that is accessible to anybody.”
Discover more about Renault's vision of 'the mobility of the future' here.