The autonomous electric car revolution might eventually include this lightweight EV that has a built-in bike carrier and a side-entry trunk.
Although current predictions for autonomous electric vehicles tend to favor companies such as Tesla Motors in the near future, that hasn't stopped anyone from working toward building their own version of an affordable, safe, and practical EV, and while many of those electric car startup dreams may eventually end up in the virtual clean transport junkyard, with any luck we'll be seeing at least a few other auto industry outsiders enter the electric mobility market, including perhaps Paulo Camasmie and his Atticus Motors.
Camasmie, an engineer by trade, is said to have begun building his version of an electric vehicle in his garage following the injury of his sister in an auto accident, with the goal of integrating a variety of safety features, eventually including autonomous driving, into the design. The Atticus Robocar could be produced as early as 2020, with a purchase price of about $25,000, but there's still a long way to go to get to a production model, so don't count on reserving a Robocar of your own just yet.
Atticus is a safe, sustainable and automated solution for mobility, car sharing, and an active lifestyle.
According to the website, the current vehicle, dubbed 4P, is built on an aluminum chassis, measures about 157 inches long, and will weigh in at about 2200 lb, including the battery. This lightweight vehicle could hold up to 4 people (up to 6 in a larger version), although different configurations for seating may allow for fewer people and more cargo area, and the design integrates a built-in paddleboard rack on top, a "bike drawer" for hauling transportation and recreation gear, and a side-entry trunk. The battery pack, which fits directly under the chassis in what's called the 'skateboard' format, is said to be capable of a 93-mile range and is designed to be easily swappable in lieu of charging. With a top speed of just 70 mph, this isn't a Tesla killer at all, but is more of a lightweight transportation workhorse, as well as one that's priced within reach of more auto buyers.
Although the vehicle is merely a body-less chassis at the moment, and is without all of its eventual 'smart' features, Camasmie envisions that once full autonomous capabilities are mature, the Robocar could eventually be a "100% automated pod" that could be used for local transportation. According to the Robocar website, "full autonomy will be achieved with off the shelf systems already being developed by major suppliers," and the current focus is for the vehicle to use 'semi-autonomous' technology to protect its passengers, as well as the cyclists and pedestrians along its path.
Camasmie, whose previous transportation efforts have been focused on recumbent bikes (Catrike), says Atticus will be launched by 2020 at an estimated pre-incentive price of about $25,000, but also that the production deadline "might be vastly accelerated" depending on collaborations with vendors, tech companies, and others. If you'd like to stay in the know about Atticus, there's a contact form on the company website for expressing interest as a future customer, or as an interested collaborator.