The SYMBIOZ concept showcases Renault’s vision of the car of the future and its role in our lives inside and outside the car. It comprises a car, a demo car and a home. SYMBIOZ comes under the ‘Wisdom’ petal of Renault’s lifecycle-based design strategy, suggesting maturity.
The SYMBIOZ concept on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show looks ahead to a horizon of up to 2030, and Renault has also developed a demo car, which foreshadows a vehicle in a closer timeframe, around 2023.
Both cars are electric, autonomous and fully connected to their environment. ‘Travellers’ – the driver and passengers – enjoy a cabin that feels like home and has been designed for autonomous motoring. On the road, the car becomes an extension of the home. When parked inside the home, it doubles as an extra mobile, modular and multi-purpose room.
Visitors to the Renault stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show will be able to walk around this connected home and experience the way cars like SYMBIOZ may be interacting with their environment in the future.
Renault is the first carmaker to present a complete home at a motor show that evokes future possibilities of how the car will deliver new features inside the home and will be an extension of the home on the road.
Smart energy sharing and saving
Renault, the European leader in electric vehicles, developed SYMBIOZ to ensure the home and car share energy. Kilowatt-hours are distributed through a smart grid shared by the car and the home in an artificial intelligence environment capable of anticipating occupants’ needs:
- If there are no plans for a long trip in the next 48 hours, a minimum charge level will be left in the car battery (i.e. enough energy for a short trip) in order to optimise power distribution at home.
- However, if a weekend away is planned, the system will fully charge the car battery on Friday night, gradually turning down the home heating overnight.
- It is also possible to programme the system to use the power stored in Renault SYMBIOZ’s batteries temporarily for the lights, screens and home appliances during peak times. If there is a blackout, this happens automatically.
Power sharing can be monitored and adjusted using the screen located on a table in the home’s living room or via the car’s dashboard.
The smart connection between the car and the home is permanent, making SYMBIOZ’s ecosystem more seamless and efficient. Occupants can access their digital lives anytime for an easier and more enjoyable life experience, in line with the ‘Easy Life’ philosophy of Renault.
- The cabin is like the home where everything is within arm’s reach – music, social media, personal cloud storage and digital subscriptions. Reading, listening to music and even teleworking are options from this extra room. If someone rings your doorbell, their face pops up on the dashboard display and you can let them in.
Connected to open automation platforms using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, occupants can programme smart interactions between the car and home devices and appliances. The car and the home coordinate the energy, lighting, multimedia and comfort features seamlessly and continuously.
- If the car is on the rooftop terrace, it is automatically moved down safely to the ground floor a few minutes before a trip is scheduled in the daily planner. Messages are displayed on the screens around the home to inform occupants.
- If you enter a long trip into the planner like a holiday, the shutters will close fully and the home heating system will be turned down automatically after you leave.
Renault SYMBIOZ concept car
The Renault SYMBIOZ concept car is 4.70 metres long, 1.98 metre wide and 1.35 metre high. This futuristic one-box car boasts D-segment dimensions, however, the vehicle’s spacious modular cabin design is worthy of that of an E-segment model.
The car’s exterior styling is also innovative. The upper section of the car body – floating and architecturally-inspired – is clearly different from the lower section, which is more sensuous, muscular and racy.
The upper section resembles an architect-designed house while still blending in with the lines of the car and lets ample light into the cabin. The aim is to travel in a bright, fengshui space that is much like a large living room in a house, with wide glazed contours.
- From the side windows to the roof, all the ‘glazed’ surfaces – made from glass or polycarbonate – use clear glass to maximise transparency and let light flood into the cabin.
- The original design of the roof, which seems suspended over the cabin, reduces the number of structural elements required and also makes the cabin brighter.
- The roof is attached to the vehicle frame using high-tech enamelling for extra sturdiness and rigidity, without obstructing the glazed surfaces.
The design of the lower section perfectly matches Renault’s ‘French Design’ styling: it is sensual and warm with fluid lines and a dynamic stance.
- SYMBIOZ’s carbon fibre bodywork features two shades of copper. The matte copper hue at the front symbolises authenticity and calm, while a glossier, more satin-finish colour at the rear conveys expresses elegance and refinement.
- The car boasts Renault’s C-shaped lighting signature both front and rear. While SYMBIOZ’s lighting signature is larger and more tapered and stylised, a link is established between the concept car and current model range.
- The rear lights produce a variety of dynamic visual effects thanks to small lit fins that deploy as a function of how hard the driver is braking.
- The third stop light is built into the aerodynamic wind deflector located at the back of the roof. Its linear graphic effects continue all the way to the fog light positioned under the bumper.
- SYMBIOZ’s wheels are reminiscent of the spokes of a bicycle wheel, alluding to aerodynamic performance and lightweight design. The car uses Michelin tyres with a special narrow construction developed by the French firm to maximise SYMBIOZ’s energy efficiency.
- As with the TreZor concept car, the Renault logos at the front, the rear and the sides of the car light up in autonomous drive mode.
- The sensors and cameras used in the autonomous drive system are built into the rear wind deflectors, like two control towers.
Maximum interior modularity for 2030
The interior of SYMBIOZ has been carefully styled to guarantee maximum wellbeing for passengers so they can take full advantage of the autonomous drive system when it is operational. Travelling quickly becomes an easier and more enjoyable experience.
- The Ultra High Definition OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display located in front of the driver, thin, curved and covered by Corning® Gorilla® Glass for Automotive Interiors, consolidate in its 80 cm length all dashboard and multimedia system information. The Gorilla Glass has been manufactured into a 2D part then cold formed into a 3D shape.
- When the autonomous drive system is switched on, the steering column and steering wheel fold away into the dashboard and the pedals and dashboard retract automatically by about 15 centimetres. The seats contract to convert into genuine armchairs.
- The driver benefits from additional comfort, as well as more space, to check something on the display, rest a book on his or her knees or just take a deep breath and gain some extra space to put whatever they want in front of them – just like at home. The dashboard was developed in association with KEIM-cycles, a French firm specialised in luxury custom-made wooden bicycle frames. The thin sections of white ash are glued to a honeycomb-structure frame for a perfect trade-off between weight and strength.
- A small screen with the main indicators remains visible on the lower edge of the steering wheel which is still in the driver’s line of sight once the steering wheel retracts.
- The cabin arrangement can be radically transformed when the driver is not travelling alone. The driver and the front passenger can turn to face the other occupants as their seats pivot 180 degrees and the armrests fold away to make the whole process easier.
- Meanwhile, a mini steel frame table with a marble top opens out between the seats. This feature is a nod to the first-generation Espace from the 1980s and encourages occupants to interact with each other and engage in shared activities as they would in a living room.
- Small wristwatch-like touch screens are integrated in the seat belts. Occupants have the controls for the air conditioning, music, etc. close at hand even when the seats are turned around. The driver also has access to all the driving controls for switching off the autonomous drive mode.
Renault SYMBIOZ demo car – Advanced interior modularity and a multi-sense experience for 2023
Renault SYMBIOZ demo car looks ahead to 2023, and positions Renault at the cutting edge of innovation for cabin modularity and a sensory in-car experience.
The car’s interior layout changes according to the driving mode selected:
- The Classic mode is the standard mode. The travellers are at one with the car and feel at home. The driving position is conventional and the car’s settings are focused on comfort.
- The Dynamic mode boosts driving sensations. Driving is more active and the driver’s seat features additional lateral support for a bucket seat feel. The engine response, steering and chassis settings are all geared towards dynamic driving.
- The AD mode optimises the space available in front of the driver so they can do different things. When AD mode is switched on, the steering wheel and dashboard – which comes with a unique L-shaped display developed by LG automatically – move back 12 centimetres.
The driving mode is selected by pushing the Renault logo in the middle of the steering wheel which is lit up like a hologram.
In AD mode, the driver can choose from three journey experiences depending on how they want to spend their free time. The cabin layout also changes accordingly.
- The [email protected] layout frees up space by retracting the steering wheel and dashboard and taking advantage of the extra foot room provided by the vehicle platform which has been optimised for autonomous driving and to house the electric motor. There is no centre console or transmission tunnel. The driver can use the additional space to enjoy other tasks.
- The Relax layout enables the driver to sit back and relax in their seat in ‘zero gravity’ position. They can use a special headset developed by Ubisoft to enjoy a virtual reality experience simulating a range of landscapes.
- The French Kiss layout enables the driver to move closer to the person in the front passenger seat. The front armrests automatically drop down and the seats turn 15 degrees towards each other.
Courtesy of the Renault MULTI-SENSE 3.0 system, an upgrade to the current MULTI-SENSE system, the occupants will enjoy a new sensory experience based on the driving mode selected. The senses will be awakened, notably smell (different fragrances), hearing (a choice of acoustic ambiences) and sight (a range of lighting environments – white in Classic mode, amber in Dynamic mode and gold in AD mode)
SYMBIOZ and SYMBIOZ demo car are both cars capable of reaching Level 4 driving automation out of the five levels identified in SAE International’s standard. Also known as ‘mind-off’ automation, Level 4 frees up the driver from all dynamic driving tasks when the car’s automated driving system is switched on. The car is capable of moving into a safe position on the side of the road if it cannot deal with an unexpected incident ahead.
Since it is no longer necessary to pay attention to the road ahead, the driver becomes an occupant, just like any fellow travellers. He or she can consequently indulge in non-driving-related activities, such as reading a book, watching a film or working.
On approved motorways or dual carriageways with a median strip, a Level 4 autonomous car can adjust the vehicle’s speed in accordance with the car in front, stay in its lane even when cornering, change lanes (i.e. to overtake another car) and operate alone in traffic jams.
Autonomous drive features will be progressively deployed in Renault’s range under the name ‘Easy Drive’.
Zero Emissions electric platform
The Renault SYMBIOZ concept car and demo car are powered by all-electric motors as Renault continues to pursue its Zero Emissions* strategy. Renault is pioneering mass-market electric vehicles in Europe and is Europe’s number one seller of electric vehicles.
- The two permanent-magnet electric motors powering SYMBIOZ and the demo car deliver high power-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratios. They are located on the rear axle, with each motor driving one wheel. This layout varies the torque transferred to each wheel to improve the car’s agility and stability when cornering.
- This rear-wheel drive system also ensures that power is fed to the road more efficiently to enhance driving pleasure.
- On the performance front, the SYMBIOZ demo car delivers maximum power of 500kW and 660Nm peak torque. It provides acceleration from standstill to 100kph in less than six seconds, and the range of the batteries is more than 500 kilometres in real-world driving conditions on motorways. The 72kWh batteries can be charged 80 per cent of their capacity in just 20 minutes.
- Performance, range and charging times will be improved by 2030 when a car like SYMBIOZ will take to the roads.
- The car batteries are charged automatically via an inductive charging system.
The Renault SYMBIOZ concept and the demo car were designed on a special EV platform. The position of the motors and batteries was optimised in order to deliver:
- E-segment cabin space with no transmission tunnel. The rear-wheel drive system also enabled the front seats to be brought forward.
- A dynamic drive thanks to a lower centre of gravity and the battery position.