The Renault Morphoz

Concept Corner

This is Renault’s Morphoz concept – a smart, modular, crossover vehicle developed on the company’s CMF-EV electric vehicle platform that can adapt, or morph, between two modes depending on the driver’s need.

The CMF-EV chassis and structure combination – with the batteries located beneath the floor in the rear – apparently allows for a concept that can transform between a shorter City form and a longer Travel version. The City mode runs with a 40kWh battery with a range of up to 400km while transformation to the longer Travel version offers an additional 50kWh of power, for a total capacity of 90kWh and a total range of 700km.

The vehicle can extend and convert to Travel mode at a pre-determined battery station where the undertray of the vehicle opens and extra batteries can be installed. The driver can then stop at a station to return the extra batteries and revert to the original 40kWh capacity and the smaller dimensions of City configuration.

Crazy stuff!

Concepts are almost always crammed with high-tech wizardry, and the Morphoz is no different. There’s Level 3 driving autonomy and Artificial intelligence (AI) that allows for all manner of features.

The AI operates before anyone has even entered the vehicle, using its sensors to detect and recognise the driver on approach. It activates a light sequence on the doors to indicate recognition. The driver just waves to activate the welcome sequence, which unlocks and opens the doors, automatically positions the seat and adjusts the interior lighting to the driver’s preference. The cabin is crossed by a raised centre console which represents the brain of the Morphoz. There is a special holder for the driver’s smartphone, which is then drawn into the console’s wooden panel to serve as the main data source. The AI will then, if authorised, use data and information from the smartphone to perform tasks.

The AI lets the driver see the surrounding area by processing real-time data from external sensors and images from the vehicle cameras, especially the set which replace the door mirrors. Light displays on the inner doors and windows signal the presence of a pedestrian or a cyclist in the blind spot.

The AI can be managed in three ways: by touching the screens and console, by hand gestures, or by voice.

Onboard the Morphoz, the driver’s and passengers’ smartphones are detected automatically, and each person can continue to listen to their musical choice relayed through the speakers in the seats. A journey planned at home will be automatically picked up by the navigation system.

The Morphoz concept features a futuristic steering wheel, with a 10.2-inch screen at its centre displaying the main driving and safety information, allowing the surrounding dashboard to be free of an instrument panel and multimedia screens. However, at the request of the driver, in manual driving mode or autonomous mode, the instrument panel folds out from the dashboard, showcasing a single, wide L-shaped screen with driving and multimedia information.

While the driver remains facing the road, the Morphoz has a ‘Share’ mode that allows passengers to sit face to face. To achieve this, the symmetric front passenger seat turns completely to face the rear.

Amazing stuff!

Source: Motor Trader E-magazine (July 2020)

14 July 2020

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