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Renault wants you to EZ-GO in the future. Image by Renault.

Renault wants you to EZ-GO in the future
Renault EZ-GO EV ‘robo-car’ is giant glass pod for shared urban transportation in 2050.
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What the devil is this thing?!

It's a Renault EZ-GO, the French company's vision of what a shared urban transportation device that you 'call on demand' might look like in 32 years' time. It follows on from last year's Symbioz concept, which Renault said previewed the car of 2030.

So, I'm going to have to travel around with a bunch of strangers in a massive glass AI trapezoid, am I?

Apparently so, but that's part of the EZ-GO's democratisation of personal transport. Even if you're vexingly young or (more likely) old and infirm in 2050, you can use a smartphone app to call up an EZ-GO and be whizzed around your city in zero-emissions electric vehicle (EV) silence. Apparently, Renault thinks that 70 per cent of the world's population will be living in urban areas in three decades' time. And this EV allows everyone and almost everything on board - prams and pushchairs, for instance, can easily access it, thanks to the huge front hatchway opening.

OK, so how does that work?

It folds up and out centrally, with a ramp unfurling below, so that's a safety feature - unless the Renault is parked perpendicular to traffic flow, passengers getting on and off the EZ-GO will be protected from other cars. Once aboard, you can enjoy the convivial U-shaped arrangement of the bench seats, which can accommodate six people. Special areas are reserved for luggage, while the whole car is wirelessly connected and provides inductive charging for the occupants' devices. Smart herring-bone wood on the floor is sustainably sourced, while light floods in from every direction courtesy of vast expanses of glass - even the roof is made of the stuff, although that can automatically darken in very bright light conditions for reasons of comfort. Finally, a big screen near the door displays trip information to the people on board, such as things like the time to arrival, scheduled stops and pick-ups, information on the city the vehicle is travelling in and more.

As it's an EV, is it quick?

Not really. Renault says it travels at a maximum speed of 30mph, because it's a city conveyance and anything more is unnecessary - the French company once again cites safety here, both for the EZ-GO's occupants and other road users. The whole car weighs 1,700kg, of which 300kg is accounted for by the battery pack mounted in the floor. A single electric motor powers the rear wheels, while the EZ-GO has 4Control four-wheel steer and adaptive suspension that lowers the Renault for ingress/egress, before raising it for travel and to get over things like speed bumps. It is, of course, capable of Level 4 autonomy, which means it drives itself - passengers merely have to press a button once they're safely aboard to indicate they'd like to move off. The Renault then does the rest. Vive la future!

Matt Robinson - 6 Mar 2018

Earlier articles featuring 2018 Renault EZ-GO

2018-02-23: Renault gives Geneva debut to EZ-GO concept

2018 Renault EZ-GO concept. Image by Renault.2018 Renault EZ-GO concept. Image by Renault.2018 Renault EZ-GO concept. Image by Renault.2018 Renault EZ-GO concept. Image by Renault.2018 Renault EZ-GO concept. Image by Renault.

2018 Renault EZ-GO concept. Image by Renault.2018 Renault EZ-GO concept. Image by Renault.2018 Renault EZ-GO concept. Image by Renault.2018 Renault EZ-GO concept. Image by Renault.2018 Renault EZ-GO concept. Image by Renault.    - Renault road tests
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