Renault, the current European leader in electric vehicles, has taken the veils off the new SYMBIOZ concept in Frankfurt. This one’s a bit of an oddball, because the concept bundles a car and a home together – an industry first. As the French carmaker eloquently puts it, “the SYMBIOZ is an integrated house and car that work together in harmony. It is an extension of the vision of autonomous and connected electric cars that interact with homes, cities and various other infrastructures.”

But first, the car. It’s all-electric (with Level 4 autonomous driving), powered by two electric motors, both mounted to the rear axle driving the wheels at each end. The battery pack is integrated beneath the floor, except it won’t just provide power for the car. Renault is essentially multi-purposing the car to supply power for home appliances through a smart grid shared by the house and the car. It will even function as a backup generator in the event of a blackout!

Renault aims to realise the SYMBIOZ concept by 2023, with plans of incorporating some of the tech into its production cars by 2023. This includes a more evolved version of the Multi-Sense technology – a feature found in the new Mégane, Scénic, Talisman and Espace – which adapts the car’s ambiance to suit the driver’s mood. It’s also a platform to showcase the company’s next-gen “Easy Connect” connected services solutions and “Easy Drive” autonomous drive technologies.

“The way we use our cars is changing. It’s more than just a way to get from one place to another. It’s becoming an interactive and personalised space that is connected to objects around us. Looking to 2030, we imagine new scenarios with more efficient use of energy, connectivity and autonomous driving that will improve how we live and travel,” said Thierry Bolloré, Groupe Renault Executive Vice President and Chief Competitive Officer.

Renault plans to present a demo vehicle with many elements of the SYMBIOZ for public testing later this year. Some of them are made in partnership with:

  • LG – development of human-machine interfaces
  • Ubisoft – provide on-board virtual reality experience for autonomous driving mode
  • Devialet – developing a new and advanced sound system
  • Sanef – developing car communication systems with road network infrastructure
  • TomTom – contributing geo-positioning expertise
  • IAV – providing autonomous driving engineering expertise