Rolls-Royce's luxury vision

Rolls-Royce's luxury vision of future

 automobile technology

Rolls Royce Motor Cars has presented a concept car that shows how the firm believes luxury vehicles would look in 100 years. The “Vision Next 100” is an autonomous car of 5.9 meters long, with zero emissions, which is completed with a virtual artificial intelligence assistant and a silk sofa, but without a steering wheel.

Concept cars are unique designs that have two purposes: to show the world what a brand has to say about the future and show the brand what the world has to say about their ideas. Somewhere between these two poles, the company will reap the momentum for the development of new cars.

While concept cars rarely become real, they are still an omen of things to come. Car manufacturers do not make decisions lightly and know that putting something in the public domain under their good names can be perceived as a promise. But often they tell us more about the present than about the future.

Rolls-Royce of future

With Vision Next 100, Rolls-Royce has embarked on the amazing feat of forecasting transportation solutions an entire century ahead. This is very unusual, since these vehicles generally only try to test the waters for up to a decade ahead. But, like all conceptual cars, this vehicle is also simply a projection from the current perspective. While it is possible to make informed guesses about future technological advances, it is impossible to accurately predict things like style preferences, tastes or emerging social changes that could affect the actual outcome.

Conceptual vehicles can teach us something about our present time: our dreams, fears and our vision of what the solutions will be. Unfortunately, we won't know exactly what these things are until years later when we see them. Cars that predict the future tend to become monuments to aberrations in the taste of their time. I predict that one day we will be smiling in the Vision Next 100 as much as we do now in the concept cars of the 1960s, few of which really were close to hitting the target with regard to the prediction of the future.

We smile because we recognize the good old days in those vehicles, which become time capsules of the era that created them. And the same will probably happen with this vehicle. It will become a museum of the aspirations of our time, and one day, maybe in a hundred years, people will say, "Wow, look at that, this is so 2010!"

Few conceptual cars have successfully predicted the future. Some were ridiculously far away, like the 1962 Ford "Seattleite." Its fall was the lack of justification for the solutions it presented, such as four front wheels, rear lights that stood out in the style of a giant rocket engine and a glass roof. Dome. Others were interestingly close to what later became relevant concepts, such as the 1970 Ghia City Car, which is not far from what we now know as the Smart Fortwo.

Mini prediction

What may be the most successful predictor in the history of the automobile used from the opposite end of the Rolls Royce spectrum: the original 1959 Mini. Commissioned as a radical British alternative to the German bubble car, it was of particular importance because it solved a lot of moving problems that society and manufacturers really affected at that time.

In contrast to its contemporaries, the Mini made surprisingly good use of the available interior space, which seats four passengers in a way that is normally only found in much larger cars. It was built near the ground, with a low center of gravity, and its four wheels were located as close as possible to the corners of the chassis. This design made it more agile than even the most recognized sports cars and even that the small vehicle won demonstrations.


The construction and body package in general were also revolutionary in its efficiency, since it no longer used a chassis and could use 80% of its floor space for passengers and luggage due to the position of its engine. As a consequence, more and more manufacturers, more or less by default, repeatedly to the solutions described by their designer Sir Alec Issigonis. Sixty years later, today's average vehicle still reflects its vision. Front-wheel drive, front-mounted engine, independent suspension and efficient use of interior space can be found in almost all compact cars and even in most medium-sized cars on the market.

In contrast, the Rolls Royce Vision Next 100 is right. It's not that Rolls Royce cars have been especially famous for being rational anyway, but the measure in their latest concept focuses on glamor is exceptional even for the famous British brand. It comes with an artificial server and does not provide controller controls of any kind. It is the definitive elitist vision that we can conjure from today's perspective.

And yet, this great idea is probably in line with developments in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence. It can also become as visionary as Issigonis Mini. Who says artificial servants are really that far away? Just because the science fiction literature of the 1950s promised them and our society has so far not been able to deliver them, robotic servers can become a common place within another hundred years.

It is likely that a projection of a century towards the next sea more poetry than proposed, and this concept in particular, since it is based on the technological developments that are yet to happen. But a company like Rolls-Royce doesn't need to be precise every time. It is the brand our engines used to avoid power ratings in their brochures, replacing them with guarantees of "sufficient power". It's nice to see this distant spirit return.

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