Fully autonomous city taxis don't have to be boring cuboids on wheels, but can be fitted with tailor-made bodies depending on the intended use. Citroën is showing three body studies, and the technology for autonomous driving is being contributed by Google subsidiary Waymo.
Citroën has thought about mobility in the cities of tomorrow. More and more metropolises are banning cars from the centers or limiting their radius of action. In order to keep residents and visitors mobile, autonomous shuttle vehicles could soon be used - vehicles such as Citroën's Urban Collectif models. From a technical point of view, it is an electrically driven chassis with batteries in the base plate, on which various body modules can be placed depending on the application. Air-filled balls with a robust rubber cover act as wheels, allowing movement in all directions. The vehicle can even turn on the spot.,
The three presented body concepts, which can be exchanged depending on the application, are no less spectacular. Variant one is reminiscent of a 19th-century carriage and is intended for passenger transport in the city. A display at the entrance informs passengers about the route and stops, and the entrance is wide enough for wheelchair users to ride along. Depending on the weather, passengers can stay in the inner or outer part of the vehicle. Variant two is a fitness studio on wheels. If you get stuck in traffic every morning and evening on your way to work, you can complete your fitness program here - regardless of whether it's stormy or snowing outside. You can choose between a rowing machine and a bicycle ergometer. Fitness apps in the display should increase motivation. The electricity generated during exercise flows into the battery and thus increases the range somewhat.
A lounge on wheels
The third body with comfortable sofas and chilled drinks is reminiscent of a cozy lounge. Large glass surfaces represent the connection to the outside world, the autonomous mobile is suitable for city tours or taxi services, among other things. The electric chassis with its balloon tires can also be driven without a body and is able to pick up its body independently: To do this, it rolls fully autonomously under the parked body and connects to it via four electrically extendable cylinders, which also take on suspension functions. The chassis also moves automatically to the charging station according to the ideas of the Citroën designers. The expensive autonomous car can be used 20 hours a day and only needs four hours to charge.,
Citroën's parent company Stellantis is developing the technology for autonomous driving together with Google subsidiary Waymo.Although Waymo is said by experts to have great potential in the introduction of fully autonomous driving systems, Citroën is still non-binding on the subject of series production with the reference to "after 2025". Four laser scanners are mounted under the Citroën logos on the sides to recognize the environment. The brand logos also have an additional function: they indicate the direction in which the car is about to drive off. If they light up red, you're going backwards, if they're white, you're going forward. Additional cameras or radar sensors are not used. However, the self-driving vehicles should not drive faster than 25 km/h and are dependent on their own lanes - this reduces the complexity for the control algorithms. 25 km/h sounds slow, but cities like Paris have introduced a speed limit of 30 km/h anyway. The spherical tire concept from partner Goodyear is also not yet ready for series production. During the first demonstration drives in front of journalists at the end of September 2021 in a Paris exhibition hall, conventional wheels were still hidden in the chassis. Incidentally, the three body variants are just examples of different purposes. In an internal Citroën ideas competition, they prevailed from over 50 suggestions. However, simple passenger transporters or delivery vehicles are likely to make it onto the road.,