Paris Motor Show 2016 Edition has just closed its doors & the verdict is clear. The future of automotive industry will be focused on Full Electric Engine Power, Connectivity, Autonomous driving & lifestyle features. All specificities gathered inside a refined style car with sporty curves and sleek interior: Concept cars.
Concept cars – The test-and-learn method in the car industry
In the first half of the 20th Century, concept cars were designed to make people dream about a hypothetical modern future, where it would be possible to explore the world. At that time, owning a car was a sign of luxury & wealth. Hence the concept cars were call “Dream cars” in 50’s.
Today, concept cars embody a technological expertise. 2016 Paris Motor Show Edition had its usual futuristic-looking concept cars. Yet, for the first time, major carmakers preferred to display the innovations through close-to-production vehicles. Volkswagen announced a launch of its ID concept by 2020. Mercedes EQ is a true test-and-learn tool to announce a new brand, a new range of vehicle & test the response of the public.
Electric or nothing!
Concept cars are known to be a showroom of the technical innovation and know-how of a brand. The star of this edition, Renault TreZor, is no exception to this rule: you will never see this electric GT on the road, but it aims at showing the expertise of the French brand on EV. Following Tesla’s path, Renault’s concept car aims at proving that electric car goes great with pleasure of driving.
Concept cars also represent a starting point for future projects. A year after the Dieselgate, Volkswagen goes green with its electric concept car (I.D.). The same strategy has been unveiled by Mercedes. Generation EQ announced the launch of Mercedes new brand dedicated to electric, with 10 electric vehicles for 2020. Mercedes shows its desire to position itself as a major actor of the future’s electric mobility with innovative features: for example, the charge will be wireless thanks to a whole new induction charge system.
Not just a showcase of the brand’s expertise, I.D. and Generation EQ prefigure models that are close-to-production and that will appear on the market in the near future.
Forget everything you know about interior design
In the automotive world, the interior design is often pushed in the background when designing a new car. During 2016 Paris Motor Show Edition, a small revolution has been observed.
Forget everything you know about dashboard and imagine a high-definition touch screen and nothing else. It is of crouse relatedto the rise of autonomous driving that will change our way of moving and using our time spent in cars. Other screens have been added inside the car: the rear-view mirrors will now be cameras that will film the road and broadcast it on screens integrated on each door. This new feature will be the norm in the future.
Your car is your new smartphone
The Volkswagen BUDD-e brings a lot of feature ideas.
The car can be controlled via touchscreens, gesture control, or by announcing “Hello BUDD-e” to activate the voice-recognition system. An app synchronises the entertainment system with its passengers’ connected devices, and broadcasts on a lateral screen the info, photos, music and movies related to the planned route and crossed areas. Designers also imagined that the BUDD-e could be another hub in the Internet of Things : your car could be connected to your smart home to check a security camera, to adjust the thermostat or check what is missing into the fridge.
Last but not least, the car could be the future of your mailbox : you could be delivered directly into this safe place – because it would be protected by a hardware key – any kind of package and even parts required for the maintenance of the vehicle.
Just like smartphones have become very personal items, manufacturers are positioning the car as a personal object. A response to the announced car-sharing trend ?
It seems that Tesla’s domination on the electric car market have finally brought other carmakers to undertake a move to electric mobility. Actually, the real innovation on these electric concept cars is autonomous driving, but this feature has only been alluded to during the fair and is set to appear in a more distant future (2025).
In 2018, Paris will celebrate the 120 anniversary of Paris Motor Show. Even if the 2016 Edition has brought less constructor than before, there were no lack of innovation, start-ups were involved and it was crowded. We enjoyed it a lot and are thrilled to see what’s next…
So see you in 2018!