With the Italdesign GEA, the famous Italian design house has taken a stab at what a luxury autonomous sedan may look like and contain.
Riding on massive 26-inch alloy wheels, and measuring 5.37 metres long, 1.98m wide, 1.46m tall and sitting on a 3.33m wheelbase, the GEA promises its four occupants plenty of space.
In autonomous driving mode the GEA dims into windows to same colour as the vehicle’s body. When the car is steering itself, the passenger cabin can be configured into one of three modes: business, wellness and dream.
If business mode is selected, the front passenger’s seat can swivel around to face the passengers in the rear, and two 19-inch transparent LCD monitors drop from the ceiling and can be used to fine tune an upcoming presentation.
In wellness mode, rear seat passengers gain access to handle bars and step boards, which can be used to perform specially designed exercises during long journeys.
Finally, in dream mode, the interior ambient lighting turns blue, the car’s monitors display a star-filled sky, and the seats on the right-hand side can be joined up to form a first-class-style lie-flat bed.
Ahead of the person in the driver’s seat is a steering wheel that has been limited to just two degrees of movement, while the accelerator and brake pedals have been replaced by two pressure sensitive pads mounted to the firewall.
The GEA is powered by four electric motors — two at the front, two at the back — with a total output of 570kW. Together these motors are capable of propelling the sedan to a top speed of 250km/h.
Built from a mixture of aluminium, carbonfibre and magnesium, the GEA weighs 2015kg. Batteries with a volume of 375 litres have been incorporated into the car’s chassis.
The only way the GEA’s batteries can be fully recharged is via the built-in wireless induction charging system. While this method is more convenient, tangle-free and doesn’t besmirch the car’s lines with an ugly charging flap, it does require a specially installed charging mat and is significantly slower than wired methods of charging.