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Meet Emirai 4, Mitsubishi’s autonomous EV concept
Kooky concept keeps Japan weird thanks to a human-machine interface and knob-on technology
Mitsubishi doesn’t just make L200s and an SUV full of tax-dodging hybrid gubbins. It’s also got a splinter cell business called Mitsubishi Electric – a firm that makes escalators, air-conditioning units and other useful stuff you’d love to see a Ralliart version of.
For the Tokyo Motor Show, said Mitsubishi Electric has knocked together a concept car. It’s an autonomous EV called Emirai 4, and is much, erm, cooler than an air conditioning unit.
Like any task from The Apprentice, there was ‘a theme’ to the build. That theme being “feeling with you; convenient, safe and comfortable for each one”. Yeah, us too. The result is a bobsled-like design that houses technology that knows when you’re slouching, having a chat and can map the road out in front of you in bad weather, so it can take over control to do all the tedious things for you. Like, um, driving.
It’s all thanks to Emirai 4’s driving-assistance tech that utilises a wide-angle interior camera to monitor the driver and passengers behaviour to work out when you, the human, should be relinquishing your driving duties to the computers.
There’s also scary-sounding human-machine interface (HMI) software that incorporates a head-up display with augmented reality. The augmented reality uses 3D mapping and positioning technology to scan and mimic the road ahead on the head-up display to turn reality into Forza, in order to keep you pointing forward in, say, limited visibility.
Then there’s an intriguing new technology called a ‘Knob-on’ display. Knob-on is, in Mitsubishi’s words, an “intuitive sliding knob” that enables drivers to operate various functions without taking their eyes off the road. Handy. We’re told functions available via the sliding knob can be easily amended and grouped together to make for a perfectly tactile cabin environment.
So, a kooky tech-ridden concept from Japan. Who’d have thought it? We’ll bring you more on this and other weirdness when we see it at next week’s Tokyo motor show.