I was taken aback when Google unveiled its steering wheel-less self-driving pod car. However, that thing looks about as normal as a Toyota Camry next to this Italian concept car.
It’s called “Shiwa,” named for the the Japanese word for “fold.” Shiwa was designed in collaboration between the European Institute of Design of Turin and the magazine Quattroruote.
Instead of windows, Shiwa is covered in metal composite panels with an aluminum finish. Without windows, the interior is turned into an augmented reality lair with multimedia projected onto the walls.
The seating arrangement, which is more lounge-like than car-like, is designed to break down the barriers of a traditional car and bring passengers together.
Moreover, Shiwa is an Individual Identity Companion Vehicle (IICV). That means it physically recognizes its passengers. As it learns more about them, it adjusts its behaviors to suit the interests and habits of occupants.
As for propulsion, Shiwa is eco-friendly, It’s powered by four electric motors, one in each wheel, making it an all-wheel drive EV. Although it might seem outlandish by today’s car standards, Shiwa’s designers see it as a vision of mobility in 2030.
If you’d like to see Shiwa in the flesh, you’ll have to make your way to the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland where it will be on public display until March 13.