NIO, an electric vehicle startup backed by Chinese venture capitalists, unveiled its first self-driving car concept at SXSW this weekend.
The NIO EVE is a “mobile living area” as much as a vehicle, and has been designed to accommodate long family journeys. The interior has reclining seats that can fold into beds and front seats that can rotate to face the back seats.
The glass doubles as a display for entertainment or navigation purposes, similar to Volkswagen’s Sedric self-driving concept car or the BMW iNext. NIO did not say how it plans to manufacture the displays, which would need to be curved and tinted.
Like most manufacturers, NIO wants to build an artificial intelligence that can take control of the car and provide an assistant service. It is calling the AI NOMI, and did not say if it would have any other functionality. Surprisingly, NIO still wants the driver to be able to take control of the vehicle, although that might disappear in later concepts.