Renault’s EZ-GO robot taxi aims to save public transport

Renault’s EZ-GO looks very much like a sci-fi concept of a futuristic car, but in just a few years, it might very well become a real-life staple of urban travel.

From flying cars to self-driving cars and electric cars, transportation seems to be going through something of a technological renaissance at the moment. Apps like Uber have made it easier than ever to get around, making it possible to essentially arrange a lift on your smartphone with updates and info on when it will arrive and who’s going to be driving. But Renault want to take this concept into the future with their automated vehicle, the EZ-GO.

The EZ-GO is a completely automated taxi, which can be summoned using an app. It can seat up to six people and it’s actually intended for ride-sharing purposes, so it might be better to think of the car as a miniature bus that you can summon for your specific needs. The car has a top speed of about 50km/hr but, for city driving, it’s unlikely to need more. It also features large doors to accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, or luggage easily. Like Uber, you can summon the car with an app by putting your location and destination, or you can order one to your side at specially built stations on the street. The app’s software receives your input and, based on where you are, where you want to go, and what passengers are already traveling, it assigns the best available car for your journey and integrates your destination into its route. The idea is that cars like these could become more convenient alternatives to buses and more affordable alternatives to taxi services.

As these cars are designed to be traveling consistently from passenger to passenger, Renault has made them electric, which is of course great news for the environment. There’s no word yet of a flying version of the car, but otherwise, the EZ-GO seems like the perfect amalgamation of modern transport technology. Renault aims to release their cars in 2022 to taxi companies and transportation providers rather than consumers. If the venture proves successful, they could be a huge boon to public transport and a great source of relief for traffic congestion.

The EZ-GO just needs to be able to fly and to feature a creepy robo-driver in order to match Total Recall’s prediction for 2084. There’s still time.