Renault’s SYMBIOZ concept car, revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, is currently performing road tests in France to demonstrate Level 4 autonomy, which frees the driver from all dynamic driving tasks. Level 4 automation is currently not permitted under French road rules, but trials are allowed if a human is traveling in the car to supervise the autonomous system.
The SYMBIOZ demo car features a dual-motor rear-wheel-drive system. The two motors are located on the rear axle, with each motor driving one wheel. Renault’s 4CONTROL all-wheel steering system enables the rear wheels to assist in steering by means of an electromagnetic actuator integrated into the rear axle.
The vehicle delivers maximum power of 500 kW and 660 N·m peak torque (360 kW and 550 N·m continuous). It is equipped with a 72 kWh battery pack. The vehicle architecture can accommodate batteries with a capacity of up to 100 kWh.
The SYMBIOZ demo car features several user-selectable driving modes. In AD (self-driving) mode, the steering wheel and dashboard move back 12 centimeters, and the driver can choose from three different cabin layouts, making it easier to lie back and relax, or to converse with the front-seat passenger.
Renault developed the SYMBIOZ demo car in partnership with LG, which assisted with the human-machine interfaces; Ubisoft, which provided virtual reality technology; Sanef, which worked on communication with road network infrastructure; TomTom, which contributed geo-positioning capability; and IAV, which provided autonomous driving engineering expertise.
Renault plans to progressively deploy autonomous drive features across its lineup, beginning in 2019 with Level 2 automation. Cars with Level 4 automation will appear starting in 2022, pending government regulatory approvals.
By 2022, Groupe Renault plans to offer 8 pure EVs and 12 electrified models, as well as 15 autonomous driving models.