Renault has joined forces with Central Saint Martins and University of the Arts London to give MA Industrial Design’s students the chance to envision a driverless car’s cabin.

Fully autonomous vehicles are still a ways off, but already people are thinking about the sort of changes an interior cabin will go through compared to today’s cars. Students attending MA Industrial Design took part in a competition to develop the most suitable cabin for an autonomous-focused car. In the end, there were three finalists: Oura, SYEO, and Phanthasy.

First up, the Renault Oura created by Lily Saporta Tagiuri, Evgeniya Chernykh, and Zhenyou Gao was the winner of the competition with a so-called “vehicular suit.” It gives the wearer the “the feeling of weightlessly flying through a cityscape while still on the road.” The wearer/rider is supported by a flexible structure made from a combination of woven steel, carbon fiber, and silicone. This structure is suspended between spherical wheels which are powered by electric motors while for balance there are several built-in gyroscopes. Around the wearer’s waist there are pivots to enable an unrestricted movement at all times and give the rider the possibility to switch from a fully reclining to gliding position.

Up next is the Renault SYEO (Share Your Extra Office) made by Kyunggeun Bae, Lucinda Mulholland, and Calixte Ollagnier. It has a reconfigurable cabin to suit multiple workspace requirements, so it can be transformed into an intimate private space, a meeting room, video conference room or for brainstorming. The SYEO can be summoned on demand by the owner while inside there are inflatable seating components offering numerous customization possibilities.

Lastly, the Renault Phantasy developed by Belinda Deschamps, Rui Sun, and Mike Simonelli has a cabin that’s able to adapt to the mood of its passengers. The talented designers developed three large rotatable discs arranged vertically alongside each other to enable the most comfy position, based on the passenger’s mood and what he/she wants to do while on the go. Depending on what you need, the seating arrangement can be transformed into a chair, chaise lounge or even a desk.

It’s going to take some time until driverless cars will become the norm, but it’s exciting to see designers are already thinking of how the cabin of an autonomous car could double as a workspace or as a place to relax.

More detailed descriptions about all three concepts are available in the press release below.

Source: Renault

Gallery: Renault asks design students to envision a driverless car’s interior