Mini has developed an electric Vision, autonomously lounge on wheels with various mood settings, which was simply a rendering a year ago.
After a year of only existing in the digital domain, Mini has produced a physical version of the electric vision Urbanaut, which is on exhibit in Germany.
The Vision Urbanaut is a self-driving, all-electric vehicle that prioritizes passenger comfort and convenience.
The inside of the Urbanaut may be switched between three modes: chill, vibe, and wanderlust, which change the lighting, layout, music, and smell.
The Mini electric Vision Urbanaut debuted as a series of drawings last year, but the sleek minivan idea is now back as a full-scale model, making its premiere at the Digital-Life-Design Summer event in Munich. The Urbanaut is a glimpse into Mini’s crystal ball, depicting a future of future autonomous leisure pods.
The Urbanaut is only around six inches longer than Mini’s tiny Countryman crossover, but owing to an electric engine that enables for a flat floor and living-room-like proportions, the inside seems considerably more roomy. The Urbanaut’s external design is sleek and straightforward, with LEDs dominating the front and back ends.
The LEDs were lighted up in organic patterns in the initial renderings to mimic conventional headlight and taillight units, but the new pictures show how the LED panels look when not in use during the day. The hue shifts from green to a pale blue silver, which is the only other significant difference from the drawings.
Mini “sees its future self largely as an enabler of and companion for unforgettable experiences,” which it refers to as “Mini electric vision moments,” according to the company. The Urbanaut has three of these “moments”—think of them as marketing jargon for “drive mode,” except that only one of them is truly about travel.
The first, Chill, transforms the vehicle into a safe haven from the outer world. “Eliminating displays or switches that may remind the consumer of their vehicle surroundings,” the interior lighting resembles “a green forest canopy,” and the instrument panel converts into a table lamp.
With the door opening open and the windshield rising to create a pleasant, airy ambiance, the Vibe mode is all about mingling. The instrument panel has been repurposed for entertainment, and the Urbanaut will show visuals that move in time with the beat and tempo of your music, creating a “pleasant club environment,” according to Mini.
The only time the instrument cluster switches to displaying an animation of the route, the expected arrival time, tourist sites along the way, and other trip information is called Wanderlust. Although the Urbanaut is designed to be self-driving, a steering wheel and pedals will be available at the touch of a button.
Mini also emphasizes the Urbanaut’s environmental friendliness. The design team reduced the amount of components by making certain elements dual-purpose—the dashboard, for example, may transform into a day bed. The inside is covered in recycled materials such as wool, polyester, and Tencel, with recyclable cork used for the steering wheel and portions of the floor.
Although the Vision Urbanaut will not be produced, anticipate to see the design philosophy represented here on Minis in the coming decade as the manufacturer switches to electric power. Mini also notes out that the Urbanaut’s inside is devoid of chrome or leather, a strategy it claims will be used in future models.