Rolls-Royce unveiled its first-ever concept car today, and it totally sucks.
Just kidding. It’s really fucking awesome.
And it gives us hope about the future–and specifically the idea of driverless cars that we’re all apparently headed toward whether we like it or not.
Billed as a vision for a future of driverless luxury cars with a built-in “red carpet” and lighting system that announces its arrival to bystanders, it’s called the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 and its design aims to “anticipate the mobility demands of the luxury customer of the future.”
Rolls-Royce said the Vision Next 100 was a deliberate attempt to show that driverless systems would not turn cars into bland objects.
There are many things we like about it. Here are a few:
>>A roof that glides open with a hinged design based on a clamshell, which allows riders to step into the interior without having to bend over (unless you’re, like, LeBron James).
>>The front of the car, which doesn’t hold an engine. Instead, it leaves room for luggage.
>>Wheels housed in individual cases, which deliver the impression of a futuristic catamaran.
>>A step that appears from the side of the car once the roof has opened and a red light that is projected to create a red-carpet style arrival… and also sort of the experience of grand horse-drawn carriages, only instead of a coachman there’s an artificial-intelligence system.
>>A virtual assistant named Eleanor that can offer you advice on how to prepare for meetings and important events, as well as driving the car. (It can also help select movies and music from the car’s entertainment system.)
>>The way the car has no driving area. Instead, the interior resembles a sexy lounge, complete with wood paneling, a deep-pile carpet and a wool-and-silk-upholstered sofa.
Rolls-Royce said it imagined the car would be powered by a zero-emission drivetrain and use advanced suspension to create the feeling of the car skimming across the surface of the road “like a magic carpet.” The car company (which was bought by BMW in 2003) also said the Vision Next 100 was a deliberate attempt to show that driverless systems would not turn cars into bland objects.
And honestly, we believe them. We also feel a helluva lot better about the whole concept of driverless cars after taking a long look at this inspired piece of machinery. We could see ourselves enjoying a ride in this beauty, free from the burden of steering it and parking it ourselves.
The only thing we’re not crazy about? The name Eleanor.