If you’ve got enough dough to drive around in a chauffeur driven ultra-luxury car, here’s a car that defies all that you’ve believed in and give you an entirely different perspective.
The idea of self-driving cars isn’t something that you might find fresh. But, like every other car manufacturer, Rolls Royce wanted to join the league but differently.
On the 16th of June, Rolls Royce, at a press event held in London, the luxury carmaker unveiled its newest concept car that goes by the name Rolls-Royce 103EX, its vision of what the future of one-percenter travel will look like. Without further wordplay, here’s what the Vision Next 100 looks like:
Open the single door that brings you into a space that is uniquely designed for the disgustingly wealthy people. The interiors comprise of a cream colored textured finish with a whole lot of wood paneling.
Seats? Oh that? Well, that’s quite old school. Here’s something better:
Rolls, instead of seats have opted for a silk-covered couch. Or, to use the company’s own words: “A beautifully textured, ivory-colored luxurious throne upon which our passengers are conveyed, and from which they command.”
This happens to be Rolls Royce’s vision of the next 100 years of extravagant automobiles and this is certainly next generation. The car comes with incredible technology, the most advanced features and plenty more.
It also seems to have some sort of holographic internal display that forms its logo out of semi-luminescent specs that swirl around the interior of the car. According to a video from Rolls-Royce, it’s an AI assistant with a “soul,” called Eleanor. It’s unclear whether this would be part of an additional upgrade package, or a futuristic version of OnStar.
Very soon, Eleanor will become a Rolls-Royce owner’s personal digital assistant and chauffeur. The future system’s artificial intelligence allows ‘her’ to remind occupants about itineraries, schedules, appointments and other tasks which apps such as Siri, Cortana, and Google Now already do.
However, Eleanor can do something neither of the aforementioned assistants can do: drive your Rolls.
The outside of this palace styled car looks like something ripped right out of the retro-futurist settings of a Tim Burton Batman film. Although, this is a concept car, the Vision NEXT 100 not only continues the spirit of Rolls-Royce’s elegance, but steps into the world of advanced driver assists by introducing the “Voice of Eleanor” (Eleanor is the winged female visage gracing each Rolls-Royce hood).
The concept car is electric, has a self-stowing luggage compartment, and doesn’t need a steering wheel or dashboard, as those would be “superfluous in this model,” Rolls-Royce claims.
Once at its destination, the VISION NEXT 100’s glass canopy will lift, giving room for occupants to stand while still being sheltered from the elements. The doors of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 will then automatically open and a running board will slide out with a splash of red light simulating the red carpet entrance every time a person exits the car.
Narrow, 28-inch wheels created from 65 individual pieces of aluminum will convey owners to their destination in a “futuristic catamaran”. Through Rolls Royce VISION NEXT 100 ‘Grand Sanctuary’ concept, customers will be surrounded by handcrafted wood paneling (similar to many other Rolls-Royces) with a generous OLED screen viewable from the rear passenger ‘sofa’.
Since this view of the future is a fully-autonomous vehicle, there’s no need for unsightly steering wheels or other inconvenient contrivances. In fact, the VISION NEXT 100 could be mistaken for a small viewing room on wheels, filled with a transparent screen, pillows, sumptuous interior materials, and drapery.
In the similar fashion that the ‘Spirit of Ecstacy’ design was used for the vehicles of the past, the Voice of Eleanor will be the guiding theme for vehicles of the future. And, of course, the graceful Eleanor figure will still stand front-and-center on the ‘futuristic catamaran’.
The designers say the 28-inch wheels; hand built using 65 individual sections of aluminum is enclosed creating the impression that the car is skimming across the road’s surface.
“The Rolls Royce patron will continue to be a famous figure in the future” says the director of design, Giles Taylor.
“I envision that the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 will play a key role in these people’s lives, guiding and conveying them effortlessly through their life’s journey in an exquisite sanctuary where they can reflect in peace ahead of arriving in the grandest style.”
While there’s no guarantee that a vehicle like this will be hitting the streets of the nicer parts of town anytime soon—or even at all—it does show that Rolls Royce has a plan for bringing its distinctive brand of conspicuous consumption into the self-driving age. “In a future where transport is commoditized—void of beauty, space and form-RR will definitely stand apart” the company said on its webpage.