Renault Unveils Robo-Pods for Short Trips
Renault SA has developed a self-driving electric pod concept intended to carry goods or two passengers at low speed on “first-mile/last-mile” trips.
Called EZ-Pod, the tiny vehicle is designed as a shuttle that would operate over pre-defined routes independently or in trains. Renault envisions the pods being used by travelers with limited mobility or packages to carry.
In some cases, the pods might operate—at speeds under 6 kph (4 mph) on walkways shared by pedestrians so they can deliver their occupants to building entrances.
The EZ-Pod expands on EZ-Go and EZ-Pro concepts Renault unveiled last year. The new design rides on the same platform that carries the company’s Twizzy electric runabout. The interior is designed for durability and easy cleaning and features a huge side door to improve ingress and egress.
This is the 3E. A design by the renowned automotive designer Camilo Pardo, the man behind many striking designs, including the ‘05/’06 production Ford GT.
While at the Tokyo Motor Show this week various vehicle manufacturers were showing off all manner of cars and crossovers and transportation devices that typically had to do with something autonomous, connected and/or electrified (ACE, as CAR’s Brett Smith categorizes this burgeoning field), the guys from Chevy were in El Segundo, California, showing off a different take on what can best be described as “toys for boys”—boys who do or don’t have driver’s licenses.
To know that 3,000 cars have been delivered since October 2015 would undoubtedly result in a shrug: in 2017 Toyota delivered 387,081 Camrys, so that 3,000 is less than one percent, and this is in one year, not just over two.