While also being your office/gaming room/lounge.
We're no strangers to wacky concepts, but while most of them aim to showcase design skills or show off an aftermarket parts program, very few have any basis in reality and fewer still make it to production. But the latest we've come across, courtesy of CNBC, is especially strange. Not only does it look utterly mental, but it wasn't even designed by someone who works in the automotive sector. Furthermore, it aims to be a moving house of sorts, a place where people can "work, program, game, eat, talk, and watch videos, much like they can on a business class seat in an airplane." If that's not enough, it wants to clean the air as you drive.
That last aspect is the one we're most interested in and comes from the concept that, while electric cars like the Tesla Model Y may not emit any greenhouse gasses directly, brake pads and tires still pollute. As such, there are no true zero-emissions vehicles. The idea with this new concept is that a HEPA filter would actively clean air as it passes through the undercarriage of the car. A similar idea was created by students who invented a way to stop tires from polluting, but this car wants to clean everything in the vicinity and would be able to adjust the level of filtration occurring depending on the level of pollution in the vicinity by using GPS.
The concept comes from Chinese carmaker IM Motors, who employed Thomas Heatherwick to design the car. He designs buildings, not cars, but that's exactly why IM Motors wanted someone like him. IM wants to make a million of these autonomous electric vehicles with open interior spaces and electrochromic glass for safety, but there are many hurdles.
Heatherwick wants the car to go into full-scale production in 2023, but besides the fact that autonomous driving tech is not ready for such a vehicle, the doors of this car would be very expensive to make and likely wouldn't even be safe in the event of a side-on crash. The concept stems from the idea that the world is facing a "global space shortage" but cars are part of the cause. It looks like an interesting concept, but we'd bet just about anything that this car won't make production - at least not for the next 10 years.