Icona Nucleus autonomous electric MPV revealed

7 Mar, 2018 11:45am Dean Gibson

Italian design firm Icona unveils its fully autonomous Nucleus EV people carrier in Geneva

It's not only the big manufacturers that are promoting autonomous technology, as Italian design consultancy Icona revealed its Nucleus autonomous MPV at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. This fully autonomous six-seater people carrier is a development of the Icona Neo EV, which was shown in 2015. However, the Nucleus pushes technology even further.

With its swooping lines and squashed roof line, the Nucleus is clearly a design-led project, while the cabin offers what Icona calls a 'mobile living space' where passengers can stretch out. The lack of side, front or rear windows is a visual clue to its fully autonomous capability, although the panels are semi-transparent, so occupants can see out, but can't be seen. Natural light comes from the clear roof canopy.

The seats are mounted opposite each other for passengers to stretch out, as there is no need for a steering wheel, pedals or any other vehicle controls for occupants.

The design of the interior is meant to evoke past ideas of travelling, so there's comfort and luxury, although the interior is also fully connected and can be tailored to suit each individual passenger's wishes. Interactive displays, a mobile office and even a drinks bar are included.

Power comes from four in-wheel electric motors that produce a combined 592bhp. Power comes from a battery that can be recharged via a hydrogen hybrid system, and the Nucleus is designed to travel up to 740 miles between fills.

Icona was founded by a former boss of design studio Bertone and a former chief designer at Nissan, and it has built a number of concept cars in its time, including one with titanium bodywork. But the Nucleus is its vision of an autonomous family car.

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