If you’re wealthy enough to afford a Rolls-Royce, and a chauffeur to ferry you around in it, then the idea of self-driving cars wouldn’t seem that foreign a concept. But like every other car manufacturer, Rolls-Royce seems not to want to get left behind in the rush to build autonomous vehicles.
At a June 16 press event in London, the luxury carmaker unveiled its newest concept car, the Rolls-Royce 103EX, its vision of what the future of one-percenter travel will look like.
The nearly 20-foot vehicle looks like something ripped right out of the retro-futurist settings of a Tim Burton Batman film. It features a single door that opens like a barn door into an interior that is larger and better appointed than many New York apartments.
The couch inside—these are not regular car seats, it’s really a couch—seems to seat only two, meaning any waitstaff will likely need to follow along in another, presumably less grand, vehicle.
The concept car is electric, has a self-stowing luggage compartment, and doesn’t need a steering wheel or dashboard, as those would be “superfluous in this model,” Rolls-Royce told The Verge.
It also seems to have some sort of holographic internal display that forms its logo out of semi-luminescent specs that swirl around the interior of the car. According to a video from Rolls-Royce, it’s an AI assistant with a “soul,” called Eleanor. It’s unclear whether this would be part of an additional upgrade package, or a futuristic version of OnStar.
While there’s no guarantee that a vehicle like this will be hitting the streets of the nicer parts of town anytime soon—or even at all—it does show that Rolls-Royce has a plan for bringing its distinctive brand of conspicuous consumption into the self-driving age. “In a future where transport is commoditised—void of beauty, space and form—Rolls-Royce will stand apart,” the company said on the car’s webpage.
Rolls-Royce also released a 360º video of its mad concept car. Check out the video below on mobile (or Google Cardboard) to get the full effect: