Driving It Home: Renault Symbioz Concept is a Modular Living Room ""
Posted on: September 12, 2017

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Renault Symbioz concept

Can’t we all just get along? Not humans, that’ll seemingly never happen—but how about our stuff? Maybe in the future, all of our personally owned items will cooperate with us and with one another. Renault is continuing the expanding internet-of-things conversation at the Frankfurt auto show with its Symbioz concept, an autonomous and all-electric connected sedan that could also serve as a room in your house.

Going all in for its Frankfurt display, Renault built a sleek modern house to pair with the Symbioz concept. In the nature of green initiatives, the Symbioz runs on a purely electric powertrain. Two electric motors on the rear axle power the rear wheels, while the batteries store energy in the floor of the vehicle. Renault sees future electric vehicles as mobile energy-storage packs that could serve double duty for both the car and the house, an idea touted by numerous EV and fuel-cell concepts over the past two decades. As an example of how the two could mesh on one smart power grid, Renault says the Symbioz could temporarily power things in the house during peak energy hours or during a blackout.

Renault Symbioz concept

The Symbioz is also intended to serve as an extension of the owner’s living space. The video below shows that the car can drive itself in and out of a house, park itself in a room to serve as a sort of isolated pod, or park next to the house to create an added room. The Symbioz has a retracting dashboard and seats that can swing around for train-style face-to-face seating to create a sort of conversation pod.

As a car, it can also recognize different drivers and passengers and cater to their previously set preferences. How does this differ from what cars can do today? After all, nobody’s stopping anybody from driving their cars into their living rooms (some people already do) or from using vehicles as personal escape modules. The differentiation will all depend on the applications of smart technology.

Renault Symbioz concept

Although Renault doesn’t go into detail about the connectivity and entertainment options, it does claim that a real-life demonstration will be available for testing later this year. It won’t be a full realization of the Symbioz, but it will give an idea of Renault’s current and upcoming connected customization. Partnerships with LG, Ubisoft, Devialet, Sanef, TomTom, and IAV aid in autonomy, geo-location, interaction with the infrastructure, virtual reality, and human-machine interfacing.

There’s no specific timeline for Renault’s vision, but with things like smart home devices already connecting to cars for remote start and advanced map planning, the shift has begun. The company’s video seems to us to be long on warm and fuzzy visions and short on details about the actual concept car, but then we’re car-focused people and the Symbioz aims for a much different demographic.

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