This driverless Rolls-Royce concept car looks like a batmobile

Rolls-Royce is a name we usually associated with luxury and grandness, but in 2016 cars are associated with cutting edge technology. That’s a problem that’s facing companies like Rolls Royce, and this amazing new concept car could be the answer. At an event last week, BMW Group unveiled the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100; an autonomous, AI-controlled concept car that’s the perfect blend of old and new.

On the outside, the new Rolls-Royce is cutting-edge and turning heads, and all six metres of it are dividing opinion. Featuring an iconic grill and a long, flowing bonnet that merges into its windscreen, the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 harks back to Rolls-Royce cars of old. The rest of the car, however, is very much 2016. Its most striking feature is the way the Rolls-Royce’s enclosed wheels seem to hoist the car up like a catamaran.


But this car hasn’t been made from a uniform template. Rolls-Royce says that, in the future, Rolls-Royce customers will be able to specify pretty much every aspect – from the silk of the interior to the size and length of the car. To make such a high level of customisation possible, Rolls-Royce is embracing modular construction and materials such as carbon fibre and 3D printing – but it won’t do away with the leather mallets and hours of polishing steel it’s become known for. By returning to its coach-building roots, and using cutting-edge technology to do so, the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 is a mix of the future and the past.


Inside there’s more innovation and, yes, the Rolls-Royce vi is autonomous – which is bad news for chauffeurs like Parker. Rolls-Royce has done away with drivers, and in their place there’s a new Siri rival known as Eleanor. Named after the woman who Rolls-Royce’s Spirit of Ecstasy was modelled on, Eleanor will be an hyper-intelligent AI that can help with everything you can do – whether it’s getting you from A to B, or reserving you a table.

There’s so much more to talk about when it comes to the Rolls-Royce, such as its electric powertrain, or the way Rolls-Royce has discovered its customers don’t handle their own luggage. But the most interesting thing about it is the way it’s solving a contradiction for the luxury sector.


Technology is all about cheaper costs, more automation and ease of use – but rather than fearing that trend, Rolls-Royce is harnessing it to make even better cars. Simply put, the new Rolls-Royce is a synergy of cutting-edge tech and very traditional ideals and materials. Even though it’s only a concept car, the Vision Next 100 is a huge statement, and it can only make you excited for the future of luxury cars. 

If you’re interested in taking a look at the Rolls Royce for yourself, it’s on show now at the Roundhouse in Camden. 

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