Most concept cars have some silly gimmick, but the Renault Kwid has a clever feature straight out of Q's lab in a James Bond film, that I reckon could actually make a lot of sense.
The Kwid was designed as a lightweight off-roader for the India, where young drivers often use their vehicles to blaze new paths through rough terrain. So the Kwid comes equipped with a tiny quadcopter drone tucked inside a compartment in the rear hatch, that can fly ahead of the car scouting out the terrain ahead. The drone is controlled by a touchscreen on the dash, or you can program it to fly to a specific waypoint and report back. Pictures or video of what's up ahead are sent back to the driver, so he can make a decision about which route to take. You can even tell it to fly along filming the Kwid as you put the car through its paces, as a kind of ultimate gearhead selfie.
This sounds like a great tool for the adventurer, but I think we could also use something like this in the crazy New York City traffic. By launching the drone, you could find out why traffic up ahead is blocked when you're sitting in bumper to bumper gridlock. Perhaps you could even weaponize the thing, allowing you to take road rage to a whole new level. (Of course, we're aware that any drone-filled future will only work pending FAA regulation.)
The Kwid car itself is no less interesting, with three abreast seating that puts the driver in the center. I guess in India they must come at you from all directions. The concept car's power will come from a small 1.2-liter gas engine, but Renault has hinted that an electric version could follow.
For now, the Kwid is just another one of those pie in the sky concept cars, but I think the drone idea is brilliant. Perhaps this could be developed into an aftermarket product we could all fit to our boring everyday cars. That would certainly beat sitting around in traffic.
Check out the video below to get an idea of how the Kwid and its drone companion might look.
Via Wired Autopia