Design Knowledge Intermediary
Renault car becomes part of your house
Someday, you might want to drive home from work and just hang out in your car once you get there. Not because you're in trouble with your spouse, but because your car is actually designed to be part of the house.
In fact, you could lean back and relax before you even get home. Once you're there, just keep on relaxing while the car takes you straight into your living room.
That's the idea behind a concept car called the Symbioz, just revealed by French automaker Renault. The electric car provides both extra seating space and, if needed, feeds extra power from its batteries to the home at which it is parked.
The car and its house were both unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Batteries in the Symbioz are stored flat in its floor, maximizing interior space in the generally boxy concept car. It would be capable of driving itself and the front seats can fully rotate. That way all the occupants can interact face-to-face even when the car is out on the road.
When it arrives at the owner's home -- in this case, a color-coordinated concept house -- the car just drives right in, becoming part of the living room. It can then be lifted up in an elevator to become a second-floor lounge area with a view of the stars through its panoramic sunroof.
"No longer can we think of car design in isolation from the ecosystem surrounding us," Renault's lead designer Laurens van den Acker, said in a statement. "Renault Symbioz truly is a unique project that allowed us to work with planners, designers, engineers and architects. "
The car's batteries can be charged by plugging into the house's electrical system. During a blackout, or during times of peak electrical demand, the car can also act as a back-up battery, feeding electricity back into the home. That's something that can be done with electric cars today.
For now, the Symbioz is just a concept car -- and a concept house designed to work with it. But Renault promises that a drivable car, with many of the elements seen in the Symbioz, will be ready for testing before the end of this year.
The car represents Renault's "mid-term vision" and includes various technology features that will be available to customers in the next few years, the automaker says. Those include an improved version of Renault's Multi-Sense for customizable interior lighting and driving as well as new assisted driving features.