Jaguar Reveals Prototype of Future-Type with AI-Powered Steering Wheel
Everyone knows of Tesla’s renewable energy smart car line, but Jaguar’s focus is on a different concept totally. The 2017 Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest featured three new concept vehicles: E-Type Zero, I-PACE Concept, and the Future-Type.
The company also showcased a device called “Sayer,” which is an AI personal assistant steering wheel. The wheel acts as a key for Jaguar ride-sharing programs and your own Jaguar. Their concept for the future of Jaguar is more of a system between you, the car, and the Sayer device.
Jaguar’s Unique Vision for the Future
The Future-Type is an autonomous ride-sharing concept for 2040 and beyond. The luxury car maker created a vision for a sleek, self-guiding electric pod around the AI-powered Sayer steering wheel device. The AI coordinates your everyday needs, not limited to only transportation-related tasks.
Jaguar wants you to be connected to your car, home, and work through the Sayer device. The company expects the Sayer device to help you out with hundreds of basic tasks: playing music, booking reservations, tracking groceries, starting your car, and more.
“Whether it’s the exhilarating way they drive, the way they sound, the iconic design or the connection drivers feel with the road, customers tell us that their Jaguar makes them feel special,” says Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design director. “With the Future-Type, we’ve been investigating how we can keep this emotional connection in a future world where people may choose not to own a car, or when a Jaguar is an autonomous, on-demand vehicle.”
Technology of the Future
Jaguar’s E-Type Zero is an electrical revamp of the 1968 model. The company is considering offering seamless conversion upgrades for the older E-type cars. The car goes 0-62mph (100 km/h) in 5.5 seconds. Combined with a 40 kWh battery, the car can travel up to 170 miles (270 km).
The I-PACE concept is an SUV. Entering retail production in 2018, this car will be the first European electric SUV. Its range is about 310 miles (500 km) on one charge.
And the Future-Type and F-Type are two separate Jaguar models; one is a ride-sharing concept, and the latter is a performance car. The Future-Type is a fully-electric prototype with room for three and “social seating”. That means the front two seats can swivel around to face the rear passenger at any time. Instead of a personal car, the Future-Type is an autonomous, on-demand, ride-sharing vehicle. Sayer users call one with their device, and the Future-Type will find its way to the user and drive him or her to their destination.
The company explains the Future-Type as a “premium compact on-demand vehicle concept, designed to meet the mobility needs of future generations”. The car comes with the Sayer device, a “steering wheel [that] lives in your home and becomes your trusted companion”. It lets you take over driving when you’re in the car, it’s your key to your ride-sharing car, and it’s a personal assistant.
But some people have difficulty understanding the portable steering wheel concept. The burden of carrying a large object like a steering wheel is a little off-putting, especially when there are apps these days that could supplement that feature.
2040 and Beyond
With a few tweaks to the steering wheel concept, and some more detailing on the already-sleek design, Jaguar can really amp up the look and feel of their entire system. Integrating with Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant could open up a world of opportunities for Jaguar’s Sayer device concept.
Of course, integration with popular charging stations, connection to Tesla’s PowerWall storage system, and more will blend this Future-Type concept with the present-day renewable energy setup.