Have you ever wanted to drive the Batmobile, or the DeLorean, or some crazy synthesis of the two? If the answer is “yes,” which it should be, you might be in luck. The American auto maker Chevrolet unveiled its futuristic FNR concept car at the Shanghai auto show last week, and to say it looks cool would be a serious understatement.
“The Chevrolet-FNR is loaded with a range of intelligent technologies usually seen only in science fiction movies,” Chevy’s press release says. Those technologies include an iris-recognition ignition, dual “dragonfly” doors, crystal laser head lights and tail lights, and a roof-mounted radar mapping system.
The car is electric and fully autonomous, and in self-driving mode, the front seats can swivel 180 degrees so that you can lounge with your passengers as your sleek robot-on-wheels chauffeurs you around town.
Of course, it’s only a concept, so it may well never see mass production. For now, it’s far too costly for GM (which owns Chevy) to manufacture it at any scale. But as parts become cheaper and the design is modified, who knows? Perhaps the FNR—or something like it—will be road-ready in 15 or 20 years. Chevy’s stated goal is “to create a unique, intelligent vehicle for tomorrow’s younger consumers.”
In the meantime, the legal situation surrounding driverless vehicles is still a bit murky in the US and elsewhere (only a handful of states have enacted laws addressing them). The front-seat swivel chairs, especially, could be problematic, as most current laws require that a driver be alert and ready to take over the wheel should the car decide it wants to wander into oncoming traffic.
Earlier this year Mercedes unveiled an autonomous concept car of its own, which was similarly futuristic, if not quite as elaborate.
Below, a few more images that Chevrolet released of the FNR: