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Gordon Murray Reimagines Transportation as Electric Autonomous Pod

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【Summary】Famed automotive designer Gordon Murray, who was once known for designing high-performance vehicles and racecars, has revealed his latest take on mobility, which is an all-electric autonomous pod.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Feb 17, 2020 8:00 AM PT
Gordon Murray Reimagines Transportation as Electric Autonomous Pod

Gordon Murray, the man behind the iconic and legendary McLaren F1 recently introduced what he expects the future of transportation to be. Unexpectedly, it's not a sports car, a racecar, or some kind of high-performance vehicle. Instead, it's an autonomous pod that runs on electricity. 

Designed in collaboration by Gordon Murray Design, itMoves, and Delta Motorsport, the MOTIV is an autonomous look into the future that was funded in part by the British government's "IDP14" program.

Tiny Body For Urban Use

The MOTIV is a uniquely designed pod with only one available seat. Having only seating for one individual is what helps the vehicle have its unique design and also be light as possible. The company calls it an "ultra-lightweight quadricycle." While it may not look like the safest car on the road, especially alongside modern SUVs, the company promises that the car will have "industry-leading safety credentials."

To make the vehicle as safe as possible, the MOTIV has an aluminum chassis, aluminum suspension, as well as composite panels and doors. Whether this is a safety feature or one that's just aesthetically pleasing, the little pod has a gullwing door – just like the Tesla Model X.

Underneath the interesting body shape is an iStream Superlight Structure. It helps keep the vehicle's weight down to a scant 992 pounds, which doesn't include batteries, and dimensions small. Electric power comes from Delta Motorsport and consists of an electric motor that's good for 27 horsepower. With a 17.3 kWh battery pack, the vehicle is expected to have a range of 62 miles. Top speed maxes out at just 50 mph. 

This isn't a Tesla Model 3 rival, but more of an urban vehicle for consumers to get to work in or dart around running errands single-handedly. The good news is that after a day of driving, the MOTIV can be recharged from 20 percent to 80 percent in just 40 minutes when plugged into a fast charger.

Versatile For The Future

Because of its weight and size, the MOTIV will be classified as a quadricycle. It's the first European passenger car of its kind to meet the country's crash safety standards. Its classification as a quadricycle makes it simple to produce and should help keep prices down.

On the inside, the driver and sole passenger gets air conditioning, power windows, and a 24-inch display, which certainly isn't bad for an electric mini car. As far as the whole autonomous thing goes, MOTIV is ready for autonomous hardware and software. The company claims the vehicle is "autonomous ready" and should be simple to convert from a conventional vehicle.

"MOTIV has the potential to transform future mobility," said Gordon Murray. "The best way to make any vehicle commercially viable and cost-effective, while delivering first-class efficiency, is to make it as light as it can be while retaining the highest levels of safety. With MOTIV we have used our iStream technologies to create an ultra-lightweight body structure that delivers a vehicle that is compact, refined, safe and versatile, while remaining capable of significant range."

Gordon Murray Design believes the MOTIV could make it to the production line within the next two to five years. The little electric car will be unveiled at the MOVE 2020 show in London this month.

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