Think of the day when instead of delivery boys, delivery cars roll up to your doorstep to hand over your food. Now, imagine what that car could look like. Did you think of a lunchbox? No? But that is exactly how French carmaker Renault SA has designed their latest autonomous vehicle.
A concept for the future, the EZ-Pro is an autonomous car that has one purpose: to deliver goods to you. Need a package delivered to your office during the day or have a sudden craving in the middle of the night, the EZ-Pro will deliver it without a driver.
When Renault said they took inspiration from a lunchbox, they fashioned the truck as a box. Even the wheels are squared off. Actually, not really. They are just enclosed in box-like fairings which holds the driving sensors including radar, lidar, ultrasonic sensors and cameras. It does come with semi-active suspension so as not to shake the goods or passengers inside.
The EZ-Pro consists of two parts: a leader pod and a robo pod. The leader pod is made up of two cabins, a front cabin section for an operator and a section at the back for goods. The cabin section will have just one seat and will feature a traffic-connected control screen, an iPad, USB sockets and a joystick for when one wants to take control. For most part, the operator will handle administrative tasks.
The robo pods on the other hand are entirely set aside for goods. These pods are also reversible with lights indicating the direction the pod will travel in (white for the front and red in the back).
The leader pod and robo pod can act as one system or independent of each other. There will be various configurations available for the pods from client-specific storage compartments to a mobile store.
The pod stands at an impressive 16 feet long and 7 feet wide with side flaps that open up to serve as food trucks during the day. EvenÂ at that size, Renault said it will be able to get around most European cities with relative ease.
Unlike most self-driving concepts that only seem to stand out from the sea of today's cars, Renault's EZ-Pro looks downright futuristic. A giant grey lunchbox with green accents on wheels seems straight out of a scene from science fiction movies where all concept of colour was lost to uniformity.