Many companies – Uber, Lyft, Waymo, GM – and others are diligently working on developing autonomous vehicles ready to perform taxi, car sharing and ride-sharing duties.
Continental is also joining the party with their new Cube concept – an autonomous taxi prototype set to alleviate traffic congestion in European cities. As the name suggests, the concept has a boxy shape in order to give most room to the interior – this utility shape looks ready to fit in urban scenarios. “Cars will be much more than just a means of transport in the future,” comments Alexander Jockisch, head of business development and marketing at Continental’s division ContiTech, said. “The focus will shift more toward privacy, relaxation, communication, and work. The purpose of the interior will therefore be different in the future. People in the car will be doing things other than driving it.”
The technology used here is Continental’s experimental laser sensors and driver assistance systems already found on production vehicles – the company seeks to develop them and make them work together better. Continental will be testing the Cube at its proving grounds in Frankfurt, where a real-world city, including traffic, is being simulated in a bid to allow the company to gain insights into how to handle situations without anyone being in actual danger.