No, Steve Jobs has not decided to tackle the automobile market. This concept electric vehicle is the work of French designer Anthony Jannarelly who conducted an independent study for a future robotic car that just happens to bear the iconic bitten apple. Dubbed the iMo, the car is not really a car at all but a fully automated buggy that is intelligent enough to drive and park all by itself. Jannarelly, who has an MA in automotive design from Britain’s Coventry University, has clearly used Apple’s style as inspiration for the iMo, but we must stress that this compact 2+1 seater has nothing to do with the computer giant.
On Jannarelly’s website, he theorises that his robot design could be released in 2024. Fully sustainable, the iMo adopts Segway’s two-wheel gyroscopic technology and is completely electric once charged through a socket on its rear end.
The iMo’s website also states that as well as having a body made from fully recyclable aluminium and polycarbonate, safety and communication sensors and an artificial intelligence system, the smart ride can also shape-shift!
How, you ask? Well according to the designer himself, the car’s shape memory alloy (SMA) is made of Nitinol wire meshes. “The deformations occur when an electric current is applied to the wires. In iMo, several layers of this Nitinol fabric are used to perform the complex deformations controlled by the powerful on-board processor.”
The website states that the iMo is “more than just an urban car,” but a robot that will be the “best artifical companion” in your day to day life. You will even be able to communicate with your iMo requesting for it to come and pick you up from work or take your kids to school.
While we’re not quite sold on the idea of a car playing babysitter, it is a striking and intriguing design. One must wonder if Steve Jobs has seen it and whether it has got his brain whirling…