Tech

Peugeot’s Instinct concept car changes driving mode according to your mood

Peugeot claims the car is not really that futuristic when it comes to sizes and design, but I wouldn’t hope to see something similar on the street anytime soon.

Car makers usually present their new wares at the Geneva car show, which takes place in early March this year. But Peugeot changed all that when it brought its new concept car, the Instinct, to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

It was a good move: This car probably fits better among the smartphones than other cars.

While still very much in concept territory, the Instinct is a hybrid, self-driving car that connects to everything — not just your smartphone, but also your smart toaster and Amazon Echo at home.

Image: Manuel Blondeau/Mashable

Can you really augment freedom? Peugeot claims it’s possible.

Using Samsung’s ARTIK internet-of-things platform, the car can, for example, show you a map of your house and indicate you’ve forgotten to unlock the door or turn off a light. And when you arrive, the system might continue the playback of whatever song you listened to in the car in your house.

It gets even more interesting when the car connects to your personal gadgets and gizmos. If you haven’t reached your steps goal yesterday, for example, the car might suggest leaving you a bit farther from home, so you can walk those additional steps while the car parks itself in your garage.

Image: MANUEL BLONDEAU/MASHABLE

Of course, the car has its own app.

That’s right, it’s a self-driving car. As I entered the prototype Peugeot had on display at the MWC, I chose the "relax" mode and the car’s steering wheel and gas pedal retracted themselves, the seat put me in a leaned back position, and the car entered a self-driving mode, enabling me to chill with a book (the car didn’t actually speak to me, but Peugeot told me that voice controls, in the form of a speech-driven chat bot, are a part of its plans). Then I switched to "boost" mode, and in a few seconds, the car was again ready for me to drive.

Well, almost. At this stage, it’s all a concept — one that likely won’t see the day until at least 2025, as I was told by a Peugeot rep. For this reason, the company wasn’t prepared to go into the details of the car’s motor; I was only told it had a 300 horsepower, hybrid powertrain.

Image: MANUEL BLONDEAU/MASHABLE

Screens, screens everywhere.

But the company does plan to bring some of these technologies to cars of today. While self-driving without a steering wheel is still far off, connecting a car to the IoT gadgets around you is perfectly doable right now. Having the ambiance — the music and the lighting — change according to your mood is something that might make it into a near-future Peugeot car as well.

As for the Peugeot Instinct, if it ever sees the light of day, it will likely be quite a different vehicle. That’s alright; I’m not sure I care about ambient lighting or the materials used (a part of the car’s door is made out of concrete), but I could definitely use those humongous screens that are planted all over the cockpit.

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