Rounding out a trio or Renault "EZ" self-driving car concepts is the EZ-Ultimo. The French brand debuted the latest concept at the 2018 Paris auto show on Tuesday with an eye on turning ride hailing into something more premium.
Like the earlier EZ self-driving concepts (EZ-Go and EZ-Pro), Renault hasn't described specifics on the powertrain or technology. But, it said the EZ-Ultimo features zero-emission power and Level 4 self-driving capability on the SAE scale.
Level 4 capability is just shy of full autonomy, thus, the EZ-Ultimo would be able to operate entirely on its own in certain environments, typically within mapped, or "geo-fenced," confines. Level 5, the highest on the scale, represents total self-driving capability.
The EZ-Ultimo was imagined for riders or businesses looking to add a French premium flare to ride-hailing services. Since there's no need for driver controls, the interior is totally open with lounge-like seating. Adhering to the "EZ" design principals, the Ultimo offers easy access via wide automatic doors. A rotating seat on a slide welcomes passengers, and once they're inside, glass facets keep things private and provide a shield from wandering outside eyes.
The interior itself looks as if it was pulled directly from a Paris cafe, with authentic wood, tailor-made leather, and even marble fixtures. A robust "augmented editorial experience" also provides riders with premium content and multimedia, should they choose.
Meanwhile, while the EZ-Ultimo coddles passengers, the car can communicate with connected infrastructure components and whisk riders away on a pre-determined route. Renault alluded to such a vehicle as a fine choice for tourists taking in the sights or for businesses in need of proper transportation for VIPs.
If Renault has its way, EZ-Go pods will transport the masses while EZ-Pro self-driving vehicles deliver packages, and the EZ-Ultimo will carry those in need of a more exclusive ride-sharing experience.
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