Hot doesn’t even begin to describe the NIO EVE, a self-driving electric concept car straight out of a sci-fi movie that’s packed from top to bottom with every buzzy new technology imaginable.
Chinese electric car company NextEV brought the EVE to SXSW and we got to ogle at its gorgeous futuristic exterior and interior until our eyeballs almost fell out.
The EVE is the company’s vision of what a self-driving car could look like in 2020, the year when self-driving cars are expected to truly free us from the chore of turning a steering wheel and stepping on a pedal.
Like pretty much every self-driving concept vehicle Mercedes’ F 015 or Peugeot’s Instinct are two that come to mind the EVE promises to let you sit back and relax in its luxurious leather-clad cabin as it does all the driving for you.
As far as autonomous concept cars go, the EVE checks basically all the boxes for “fictional dream car from the future.” Just look at this sleek, badass vehicle in all of its glory:
Raymond Wong (@raywongy) March 12, 2017
An AI assistant called NOMI controls the car and gauges how you feel (tired, etc.) with the help of sensors. It also learns passenger interests and displays customized information on its huge transparent dashboard display.
The interior is the very definition of luxury and premium travel, resembling a first class plane cabin, with room for six passengers.
Some of the chairs recline, there’s a fold-out table (just like a plane!), special compartments for stashing a duffel bag and a pair of kicks, and even a touch-sensitive control panel built into the seats for controlling various car features.
The windshield, as you’d expect from a futuristic car, is a huge pane of glass that stretches from the front all the way to the back, allowing for sunlight to stream in from all directions.
In addition to providing panoramic views, the entire glass canopy also doubles as a surface for displaying augmented reality experiences. It could, for example, overlay a movie to entertain, or constellation information as the car drives under the stars, or useful travel info (i.e. names of upcoming mountains or buildings), or even a video chat.
And it’s not just the inside of the EVE that’s chock full of new technologies. You’ll be able to summon the car remotely like you can with a Tesla Model S and wave your hand to slide open its ginormous single-sided door, which itself can change between opaque and transparent.
EVE also has several illuminated status indicators (below the the car door and on the hood) to alert pedestrians and other vehicles of its “behavior”.
It’s all very forward-thinking stuff and the car is, of course, awesome to take in. But realistically speaking, the EVE will probably never become a production vehicle, which is why NIO’s not bothering with car specs like horsepower and speed. Like all concept cars, it’s just mostly just a beautiful dream.
Some of the technologies like AI assistants and augmented reality are already starting to make their way into today’s cars, but we’re still a long ways off from the day when every passenger will be able to sleep in the car.
That said, if cars look anything like the EVE in the future, it’s gonna be pretty awesome.