The auto industry continues to grow despite lackluster innovation during the past decade. Global vehicle production is touching 95 million vehicles per year and with new ideas finally popping up, car makers are ready to bring some crazy ideas alive and take their sales beyond the 100 million milestone.
We are still halfway into 2017 and car makers have already revealed what they have in store for us. These manufacturers have recently unveiled their latest concept cars, some of which will populate our roads during the next decade or so.
These concept designs are crazy yet unique and refreshing. While some are definitely believable and will make it to the market within a few years, others seem more like ideas which might never become a reality.
We’re going to be looking at some of the best concept car designs of 2017. So lets get those engines started.
1. Toyota Concept-I
Shown off at CES 2017, Toyota Concept-I shows how AI can add character to a car. Using Yui, its AI assistant, Toyota’s concept car is partially self-driving capable. Yui can read human emotions and help the driver stay focused by performing minors tasks or engaging him/her into a conversation.
The assistant makes the car a lot more entertaining by welcoming passengers or winking at onlookers. The best part, this car isn’t unrealistic as far as concept cars go and such cars can be on roads within a few years.
While it looks more like something out of a science fiction flick, Volkswagen’s SEDRIC carries its name from 1950’s novel (SElf DRIving Car).
SEDRIC is all about its level 5 self driving capability (i.e. it can drive in any geographical area) which enables it to act more like a personal assistant than your car. The car with OLED eyes can pickup stuff and drop off anyone without a driver.
I-TRIL is what Toyota plans to offer as a small city car within the next 10 years or so. The EV (Electric Vehicle) can lean into corners and offers a range of at least 300km while carrying 3 people.
This little car offers 4 wheel drive with self-driving technology. The driver can take control at any time though.
Cars are often considered environmentally unfriendly. That’s not the case with the Rinspeed Oasis. The car comes with a garden, complete with Bonsai trees and radishes. Open the windshield and you get access to the garden and fresh air.
Inside, there’s a massive touchscreen display and a heads-up display. Of course, self-driving comes built-in as well.
NeuV takes the monobox design to the next level. The self driving electric vehicle is built for tight city spaces. There are no details regarding the exact specifications but Honda says NeuV uses artificial intelligence to read human emotions (much like Yui) and improve the driving experience.
You can watch this video to learn more about the car:
This concept SUV doesn’t look much different from modern crossover SUVs. Citroen deliberately made this choice with its newest concept car. Citroen added curved lines and strong color accents to the C-Aircross, giving it a futuristic look.
The SUV uses a full color heads-up display and a single spoke steering wheel. The side mirrors have been replaced by cameras which feed the videos to the rear-view mirror. Citroen’s concept also brings a panoramic sunroof.
Airbus, more commonly known for its passenger planes, has also unveiled a concept car dubbed Pop. Up. The car can be airlifted by a large drone and airlift it towards great distances. Airbus actually showed off the vehicle at the Geneva Motor show in March.
The vehicle is 8 feet long. It can detach from its battery-powered chassis when picked up by a drone. The drone is autonomous and powered by 8 rotors.
BMW I Inside Future
BMW’s concept car is looking to redefine the interiors, literally. The German auto maker wants you to walk into a car that has roomy cabins, with ample space for resting.
BMW showed how its concept car could house a lot of space (complete with a book shelf!).
In addition to this, BMW has also included a massive display inside the car, which lets users watch whatever they want on the go while the car does the driving part for them.
Fiat Chrysler Portal
As far as aesthetics are concerned, the Chrysler Portal isn’t as eye-catching as other concept cars. It is large and boxy, and the Electric Vehicle comes with autonomous functions with voice and facial recognition. It has a range of 400km on a single charge and can get 50% of its power back in just 20 minutes.
The interior looks like a car from a fictional movie. It boasts sliding doors which offer unmatched access to the cabin.
You can see more of the Portal in the video below:
So there you have it. Which one of these concept cars has proven to be your favorite? Sound off in the comments below.