NIO EVE unveiled at SxSW 2017

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This week at SxSW in Austin, Texas, the global start-up NIO (formerly NextEV), unveiled its concept consumer autonomous car, the NIO EVE.

According to Padmasree Warrior, US CEO of NIO, “In 2015, commuters in the U.S. spent over 8 billion hours in their cars commuting.” He and his team at NIO believe commuters should be investing in a completely different way.

Driven by a guiding philosophy of a brighter tomorrow, NIO want you to feel positive again about owning a car.

NIO's autonomous electric cars will make your journey safe, productive and enjoyable. Our cars will be your companion and will know your needs, they will be a welcoming living space that moves you.

Padmasree Warrior describing the EVE at this week’s launch

The EVE is extremely impressive, at the very least aesthetically. From the outside it looks like something out of a future-based Sci-Fi film. Its interior is nothing like the most luxurious cars on today’s market, instead it’s more reminiscent of a first-class plane cabin.

Conventional A and B pillars of the car are done away with. With optimised door cuts, the comfortable and inviting interior is accessed through a wide forward-sliding door. The fixed seats are belted and positioned to deliver flexibility and an enhanced feeling of openness. In the primary seating area, a discrete folding table creates work or play space, and a luxurious seat that reclines allows for relaxation or even sleep. The forward two seats, accessed from the main interior, enjoy an enhanced panoramic view, with digital displays provided on the active glass when needed to support non-autonomous driving. EVE is designed from the inside out for autonomy.

The NIO EVE interior
The NIO EVE interior

Arguably more impressive than the internal and external aesthetics is the technology and artificial intelligence that NIO claims underpin the whole commuting customer experience.

At EVE's heart lies NOMI, an artificial intelligence engine with an intuitive human interface, providing verbal and visual connections both within the vehicle and with the outside world. From daily commuting to road trips, from school runs to nights out, EVE constantly learns about its occupants and their preferences. It is a digital companion, a robot on wheels. NOMI uses the vehicle's active glass to provide an augmented vision for occupants and for new kinds of entertainment.

According to NIO’s production timelines, an initial fleet will be delivered to American roads by 2020. Regardless of whether or not these cars are equal to the EVE vehicle concept, anything close to it would be pretty awesome.

The EVE is released just after NIO’s electric supercar dubbed the ‘EP9’ was released.