VIDEO: New car becomes a part of your house

BY KAT SHEPHERD / SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 / car

A new concept car called the Symbioz was revealed by French automaker Renault on Tuesday. The idea behind the electric car is that you could drive it home from work, and it would be included as part of your living space. A concept house was also designed with the car in mind, and both were unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

When it’s parked there, the vehicle would function as part of the house. Creators say they designed the car as if it were a living room on wheels.

The Symbioz would be capable of driving itself. When it arrives at the owner’s home, the car can drive right in, becoming part of the living room. In the concept house, the car can be lifted up in an elevator, turning it into a roof-top lounge area where occupants have a view of the stars through a clear, panoramic sunroof.

While that sounds uncomfortable, the vehicle actually provides ample seating space. The batteries in the Symbioz are stored flat on its floor, which helps to maximize interior space, and the front seats can fully rotate. All of the car’s occupants can interact, face-to-face; the feature is even available while the vehicle is navigating itself down the road.

The batteries in the Renault Symbioz can be charged by plugging into the house’s electrical system. They can also feed power to the home in which it is parked during a blackout, or during times of peak electrical demand, acting as a backup battery.

“No longer can we think of car design in isolation from the ecosystem surrounding us,” explained Laurens van den Acker, Renault’s lead designer. In a statement, he said the Renault Symbioz “truly is a unique project that allowed us to work with planners, designers, engineers and architects. ”

Both the Symbioz and the house it was designed to work with are concepts, but Renault says a car with many of the elements seen in the Symbioz will be ready for testing before the end of this year, though that car would be human-driven.

According to CNN Money, the car represents Renault’s “mid-term vision.” The features it includes, which will be available to customers in the next few years, include an improved version of Renault’s Multi-Sense for customizable interior lighting and driving, as well as new, assisted-driving features.

The Symbioz is introduced in the video below, at the 9:25 mark.