With the increasing population sizes, and densities, of the world’s cities comes the need to rethink urban transport.
And given the number of concept (and prototype) low speed, semi and fully autonomous vehicles being revealed to the public in recent months, it seems that is exactly what many manufacturers are doing.
Australian company AEV recently revealed a fully working, autonomous ready small urban EV written about in TheDriven – but the majors are not that far behind … at least in thinking about it.
Citroen have just announced the ‘Ami One Concept’ vehicle: their vision of the future of inner-urban vehicle transport.
To be fully revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show (7 – 17 March), Citroen have now released artist images and specifications for the Ami One, and an explanation of why they see it as the future of urban transport.
Citroen refer to it as “a disruptive all-electric ‘object’ that places digital technology at the heart of a new urban mobility experience, offering more freedom and peace of mind”.
So what is it?
Like all such vehicles in this potential space: it is small in size at 2.5m long and has only two seats. As such, it is designed to be highly agile in urban environments. (Just like the AEV for that matter: that has four wheel power and steering, is equally happy in forwards or reverse and can turn in little more than its own length!).
Ownership models are proposed to include choices of rental, lease or owned, along with easy to use apps for finding compatible/available charging and for trip planning.
Interestingly – Citroen are promoting it as an alternative to public transport (bus, train etc.) and other modes of transport such as bikes and electric scooters.
If this concept were to truly take hold as a full replacement to public transport – then not only would public transport systems go the way of the dodo, it may be faster to walk as the roads would be gridlocked with Ami Ones carrying 1 – 2 people ….. Seems the future of transport has a lot of development thought yet to come!
Not that that form of gridlock is likely to happen here: the Ami One is also designed as a development under the existing European ‘quadracycle’ category – i.e. you do not need a licence, only to be over 16 years old to drive it.
(Quadracycles are a popular vehicle in many European countries where they are used by students and retirees alike as cheap and convenient inner urban or rural village run-abouts).
However, under current Australian rules it could never be registered for use on the road. This is because Australia does include ‘quadracycle’ as an allowable vehicle registration category.
Consequently these vehicles must be evaluated as full road-going cars, on which they fail in several safety critical areas. The AEV platform will possibly pass this test – but the Ami One is likely to have difficulty.
So here in Australia we will miss out on this type of vehicle for the foreseeable future – and not because the Ami One is a concept vehicle and unlikely to see production. Quadracycles like the Renault Twizy already exist and sell well in markets where they are allowable.
However it will be interesting to see if the quadracycle issue will someday be revisited in Australia as our cities grow and become more densely populated. We shall have to wait and see.
AMI ONE CONCEPT TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:
Turning circle: 8m