Peugeot has just revealed a concept car with the somewhat confusing mission of being an autonomous car for those who enjoy driving.
Styled as a station wagon/coupé somewhere along the lines of Audi's avant series, or as Peugeot calls it a shooting brake, the Instinct has some interesting interior textures and dramatic clamshell doors. While it also features a blizzard of modish tech buzzwords like ‘internet of things’, ‘cloud’ and ‘chatbot’ thanks to a partnership with Samsung, it’s not too much of a departure from the current range’s styling cues and could be a clue to the future direction of the brand.
Check out the gallery of (rather moody and CGI-heavy) pictures on the right, and here’s the company's press release if you want the full facts:
PEUGEOT has revealed a glimpse into the future of mobility with its INSTINCT concept, a unique Shooting Brake which offers the option of fully autonomous driving.
Unveiled in Spain, the PEUGEOT INSTINCT Concept is powered by a PHEV powertrain offering 300bhp. The car features both ‘Drive’ and ‘Autonomous’ modes, affording the driver the choice between an engaging drive and the convenience of a fully autonomous vehicle.
PEUGEOT INSTINCT is programmed with four distinct driving settings. In ‘Drive’ mode, drivers can opt for ‘Drive Boost’ or ‘Drive Relax’, and in ‘Autonomous’ mode they have the option of ‘Autonomous Soft’ or ‘Autonomous Sharp’, balancing comfort and optimised journey times.
On board technology includes an ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) platform, the Samsung ArtikTM Cloud, which syncs with the user’s devices. This enables the car to learn its user’s lifestyle and preconfigure its settings – for example, driving mode, seat and interface settings, ambient lighting and audio can all be adapted seamlessly to the user’s routines.
This intelligent technology means PEUGEOT INSTINCT can adapt to match certain behaviours. For example, it can read data from a smartwatch and configure its settings to ‘Autonomous Soft’ mode to give the driver a relaxing ride home after a trip to the gym. Or, through the synchronisation of the driver’s diary and the vehicle navigation system, the driver is prompted to set off for an appointment 15 minutes earlier, to allow for the traffic and weather conditions at that time of day.
Externally, the aerodynamic, sculpted body is designed for maximum fuel efficiency but also to catch the eye. The styling houses PEUGEOT INSTINCT’s ground-breaking technology, including cameras in each LED headlamp which enable the car to scan the road ahead and communicate with the driving assistance systems.
However, the driver remains fully in control at all times and is able to determine whether they have a hands-on or autonomous drive.
Inside, PEUGEOT INSTINCT evolves the award-winning PEUGEOT i-Cockpit® interior architecture with a highly tactile, adaptable cabin, which switches from being a focused driving environment to a comfortable lounge space.
The Responsive i-Cockpit seen in PEUGEOT INSTINCT reacts when switching between ‘Drive’ and ‘Autonomous’ modes to create the most suitable environment according to how the car is being used. When in ‘Autonomous’ mode, the trademark PEUGEOT compact steering wheel and toggle switch panel fold into the dashboard and the accelerator pedal folds back into the pedal unit to maximise space.
In both ‘Drive’ and ‘Autonomous’ modes, the driver retains control over the vehicle via the i-Device, which sits next to the 9.7” screen in the centre console. The i-Device enables the driver to switch between modes so they can take action, like overtaking the car in front.
PEUGEOT INSTINCT showcases optimal levels of seating adjustment, taking inspiration from aeronautic design. The seat base, seat back and headrest are all treated individually, allowing the occupant to select the position most suited to them - horizontal if they want to rest, upright to drive, or in-between to watch a film or work. Passengers can also all communicate with the vehicle via a chatbot, a speech-driven personal assistant offering a vast array of services, including booking cinema tickets or buying online.
Materials in the cabin have been selected for high levels of tactility; a unique floor gives it a luxurious, smooth feel to the touch but also outstanding durability and a contemporary feel.
Matthias Hossann, Head of PEUGEOT Concept cars said: “With the PEUGEOT INSTINCT Concept and its Responsive i-Cockpit, we are building on the factors that have made the brand’s latest models so successful. We are creating new forms of driving pleasure. These may come from the interfaces, the architecture or the styling. There is no reason why a self-driving car should be dull to look at or to experience.”