Instinct concept hints at autonomous future

Peugeot has revealed a glimpse into the future of mobility with its new INSTINCT concept car, a unique Shooting Brake which offers the option of fully autonomous driving.

The new concept was fully revealed at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, designed to showcase not only a potential future look, but also the sort of connectivity that’s likely to be phased in along with autonomous vehicles.

The Peugeot INSTINCT concept is a family-sized four-seat shooting brake, longer than a Peugeot 308 and powered by a PHEV powertrain offering 300 Ps. The car features both ‘Drive’ and ‘Autonomous’ modes, affording the driver the choice between an engaging drive and the convenience of a fully autonomous vehicle.

In ‘Drive’ mode, drivers can opt for ‘Drive Boost’ or ‘Drive Relax’, and in ‘Autonomous’ mode they have the option of ‘Autonomous Soft’ or ‘Autonomous Sharp’, balancing comfort and optimised journey times. However, the driver remains fully in control at all times and is able to determine whether they have a hands-on or autonomous drive.

On board technology includes an ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) platform, the Samsung ArtikTM Cloud, which syncs with the user’s devices. This enables the car to learn its user’s lifestyle and preconfigure its settings – for example, driving mode, seat and interface settings, ambient lighting and audio can all be adapted seamlessly to the user’s routines. This intelligent technology means the Peugeot INSTINCT concept can adapt to match certain behaviours.

On the exterior, the aerodynamic, sculpted body is not only designed for maximum fuel efficiency but also to be utterly eye-catching. The styling houses the Peugeot INSTINCT’s ground-breaking technology, including cameras in each LED headlamp which enable the car to scan the road ahead and communicate with the driving assistance systems.

Inside, the Peugeot INSTINCT evolves the award-winning PEUGEOT i-Cockpit® interior architecture with a highly tactile, adaptable cabin, which switches from being a focused driving environment to a comfortable lounge space.

The Responsive i-Cockpit seen in the Peugeot INSTINCT concept reacts when switching between ‘Drive’ and ‘Autonomous’ modes to create the most suitable environment according to how the car is being used. When in ‘Autonomous’ mode, the trademark Peugeot compact steering wheel and toggle switch panel fold into the dashboard and the accelerator pedal folds back into the pedal unit to maximise space.

In both ‘Drive’ and ‘Autonomous’ modes, the driver retains control over the vehicle via the i-Device, which sits next to the 9.7” screen in the centre console. The i-Device enables the driver to switch between modes so they can take action, like overtaking the car in front.

The Peugeot INSTINCT concept showcases optimal levels of seating adjustment, taking inspiration from aeronautic design.  The seat base, seat back and headrest are all treated individually, allowing the occupant to select the position most suited to them - horizontal if they want to rest, upright to drive, or in-between to watch a film or work.  Passengers can also all communicate with the vehicle via a chatbot, a speech-driven personal assistant offering a vast array of services, including booking cinema tickets or buying online.

Materials in the cabin have been selected for high levels of tactility; a unique floor gives it a luxurious, smooth feel to the touch but also outstanding durability and a contemporary feel.

Matthias Hossann, Head of Peugeot Concept Cars said: “With the Peugeot INSTINCT Concept and its Responsive i-Cockpit, we are building on the factors that have made the brand’s latest models so successful. We are creating new forms of driving pleasure. These may come from the interfaces, the architecture or the styling. There is no reason why a self-driving car should be dull to look at or to experience.”

David Peel, Managing Director at Peugeot UK commented: “The autonomous future is happening now, and Peugeot INSTINCT demonstrates how this can still be driven by a passion for brilliant design and driving pleasure.”