Automotive manufacturers always aim for the unthinkable when designing cars. Continental is no different as they turned to nature when they were coming up with the concept of BEE. In full, the concept car is called “Balanced Economy and Ecology”. This concept car will be a part of a network of driver-less vehicles, which functions in similarity to worker bees.
The concept car is designed as a two-person vehicle. It embraces the technological trends in the field as it uses electricity as its power source. The BEE is expected to attain top speeds of around 38 miles per hour. The BEE battery will power the vehicle over a distance of three hundred plus kilometers without flat lining. The autonomous vehicle will make use of regular smartphones, as users will need an app to summon the car. According to Continental, the period between summoning a car and its arrival will be a span of a few minutes.
Continental is expected to release more concepts of autonomous vehicles to fit into its hive narrative. The vehicles will come in different shapes and sizes to cater for different needs. The cars will also come equipped with different and unique features.
With the release of BEE, Continental aims to create a public transport system that caters to the needs of everyone. Age, physical appearance and challenges aside, anyone can use and summon the BEE from wherever they are located.
During a virtual reality video demo of the BEE, people were able to see how the car adapted to the needs of different people. The video showed the car opening its door and lowering itself for a person using a wheelchair to get in. From the video, we can also tell that the car will have full body audio thus no need for speakers.
Two thirds of people worldwide will live in cities by 2050
According to a UNO study, in 2050 more than two thirds of people will live in urban areas. But people will still have high individual mobility requirements. At the same time, the vehicles that will be moving around our cities in the future need to be free from emissions and contribute to making the most of the capacity available on the roads.
Continental’s answers to this are BEE and CUbE. CUbE stands for Continental Urban mobility Experience. While BEE is still currently only virtual, the CUbE vehicles are already undergoing trial operations on Continental’s Frankfurt campus, which offers a city-like infrastructure with street signs, cross traffic, pedestrian crossings and curbs and, as such, provides an environment that is as realistic as possible. The technology used in the vehicle is based on tried-and-tested Continental components from advanced driver assistance systems already installed in production vehicles. These are supplemented by the latest Continental technologies such as laser sensors.
No matter your view on technology, one can’t help but marvel at the wonderful gifts it has given us. We can’t wait to see what Continental comes up with next as they aim to make our lives better.