Peugeot takes autonomy to silly new level
We all have a cyberphobe in our life. You know, that guy who’s afraid to enter his personal details into an electronic device of any kind, for fear of ‘the man’ tapping into his emails, hacking his credit card or perusing his internet browsing history. Don’t laugh, cyberphobia is a real thing, and even if you don’t have the disorder you might soon. What? You didn’t think that website popup ad for your favourite brand of car, or clothes, or drink was a coincidence, did you?
Today’s technologies might only be scratching the surface of what’s possible with connected devices, but with every new iPhone, Fitbit watch and Google account registered, the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is growing, and lines between electronic and organic are getting blurrier.
With that, we give you Peugeot’s new Instinct – a semi-autonomous concept car that can read data from you and all of your connected devices to harmonise daily occurrences and help smooth out life’s little speedbumps. The Instinct features a link to Samsung’s new Artik Cloud, which to greatly simplify, is a sort of cyberspace where information from your devices is stored and used to activate various things around you.
So, when you leave the gym, the Instinct knows you’ve just had a sweaty workout from information it’s pulled from your fitness band. It can then enter autopilot mode, recline your seat into a relaxed, or even horizontal position and tune in some soothing music for your trip home. And, once you’re home it communicates with your house to switch on driveway lights, unlock doors and fire up your home hifi system to play the same song you were just listening to in the car.
Or, if the Instinct feels you haven’t burned off the pizza you ate last night, it’ll suggest a parking place further away from your destination so you can walk off some calories en route. It also takes into account weather and traffic conditions, and can advise you to leave 15 minutes earlier so you can make the appointment you programmed in your phone weeks ago.
Peugeot doesn’t go into much detail about what powers the Instinct, saying only that it’s a plug-in hybrid with around 220kW. It can operate as a normal car with a driver in full control, or retract the steering wheel and pedals for full self-driving autonomous mode. Drivers can choose between ‘Drive Boost’ or ‘Drive Relax’ modes when at the wheel, or ‘Autonomous Soft’ and ‘Autonomous Sharp’ depending on what mood they want the electronic chauffeur to be in.
It’s styled with a sexy shooting brake shape not too dissimilar to Porsche’s upcoming Panamera Sport Turismo, but the Peugeot’s side doors open in suicide fashion so boarding and disembarking can happen without obstruction from a B-pillar.
Inside is a 24.6cm touchscreen, with an i-Device alongside and here a driver can set drive modes, and also instruct the car to take actions such as overtaking when moving autonomously.
Any passenger can voice demands, and an onboard chatbot will respond by organising takeaways, movie tickets or pretty much anything else that can be ordered online. Imagine what your Nokia 5110-toting cyberphobe friend will make of this. Of course it’s all fantasy for now, but the technologies to make the Instinct’s seemingly impossible features work do exist.