Is this the premium sportscar of the future?
The Jaguar Future-Type (Jaguar)
Published Thursday, September 7, 2017 9:51AM EDT
The announcement by several European countries that they plan to outlaw the sale of gasoline and diesel-powered cars completely by 2040 may have sent a collective shiver down the spine of many an automotive obsessive.
But, if the car of 2040 is anything like the new Jaguar concept, revealed Thursday at the opening of the inaugural Tech Fest at Central St Martins art, design and technology college in the heart of London, the future could be fun for car-lovers, after all.
The Future-Type concept is described as a premium, on-demand vehicle and one designed from the ground up to meet what car companies around the world are collectively perceiving as future mobility needs. A tipping point is coming where the emotional connection with the automobile of today will be lost forever and transport -- personal or otherwise -- will become little more than a digitally activated and operated service.
"Future-Type offers an insight into the potential for driving and car ownership in the future. It's part of our vision for how a luxury car brand could continue to be desirable, in a more digital and autonomous age," said Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar of his team's latest concept.
As such the car is connected, autonomous, and electrically propelled. Jaguar foresees fleets of these cars with different cabin set-ups -- for socializing, working on the go, or family outings -- constantly roaming the road network ready to be summoned, or, thanks to AI, predicting where they need to be before they're called.
"[It's] an advanced research project looking at how we can ensure an on-demand Jaguar will appeal to customers in 2040 and beyond. Whether it's commuting to work, autonomously collecting children from school or enjoying driving yourself on the weekend in the countryside, if there's a choice of on-demand cars driving around city streets, we need to ensure customers desire our 24/7 service over our competitors," continued Callum.
At the heart of the new concept is a smart steering wheel, called Sayer, named after Malcom Sayer who penned the E-Type's iconic lines. And this sculpted object will be the only element of a Jaguar that drivers own. When sitting on a desk it's your personal digital assistant, keeping track of appointments and fielding questions, and when used to summon a car, it becomes the device for taking over the controls and driving for sheer pleasure, ensuring that your driving, music and seating preferences are automatically adhered to by the car summoned, no mater which model it is.
"Today, Jaguar offers customers a dynamic, emotional experience," said Callum. "With the Future-Type we've been investigating how we can keep this emotional connection in a future world where people may choose not to own a car, or when a Jaguar is an autonomous, on-demand vehicle."