11 June 2014
Digital Garage: Nimbus Concept E-Car
When people create digital vehicles, a lot seem to exist simply to flex the artist's creative muscles; gorgeous to look at, but not necessarily vehicles that could (or should) exist in the real world. But, there are some which cross the border from beautiful dreams, travel through believable concepts, then patiently wait at the doors of production reality.
The Nimbus Concept E-Car is one that belong the second category, in my opinion. Created by student and visual artist Eduardo Galvani, founder of Hemisferio Criativo, based in Brazil.
Galvani's own description of Nimbus (from the Portuguese):
"Nimbus as 'a concept e-car made for short trips in urban streets and distant trips on long roads. Its hybrid engine and energy consumption system provides much more autonomy and energy efficincy than all-electric cars. It has a 180bhp electric motor with lithium-ion batteries which works in conjunction with a micro combustion generator (a flowery way of describing a small petrol/diesel engine -AZ) for constant charging of its batteries. Its structure is built with very strong and light materials, as carbon-fibre, titanium and aluminium, which optimises its energy consumption (approx 180mpg.
Part of Nimbus' exterior is covered with solar cells, allowing it to generate some of its own energy, and its regenerative brakes makes Nimbus able to recovery and save kinetic energy. There are four selectable driving modes to improve the range and energy consumption, depending on the circumstance: Energy Saver, Standard Trip, Faster Cruise and 4WD.
Nimbus has a single touch power button for start/stopping the engine, also Auto-Pilot technology for cruise control, and a Gearless Automatic Velocity System with Hill Descent Control and no delay in developing torque, granting optimised energy use and very smooth acceleration and braking.
Nimbus has a 5 passenger cockpit with side protection bars and 6 airbags. Also, its layout is designed to create a virtual safe position, where driver and passengers travel distant from the ground. (In simpler terms, the running gear is under the floor, Mercedes A-class style - AZ)
Its panoramic windows provides a wide view from the outside world, increasing the comfort and safety while driving during night or under bad weather conditions. The exterior has self-cleaning surfaces for less water use.
Nimbus has a multi-function convex dashboard made with flexive screen, which allows a better view from the most important information for the driver, as velocimeter, battery level, GPS commands, engine temperature and more. It also has auto sound/display alerts for important information and GPS commands, and driver can easily change functions on display anytime with a simple touch on the four configurable steering wheel-mounted buttons, tapping direct on its touchscreen or by voice commands.
The central display and controller is a removable 7" touchscreen from where is possible to control the sound system, interior lights, aircon, sat nav and media browser, inclinometer, altimeter, weather updates, general car info (Tyre Pressures, Washer Fluids Level, Maintenance Schedule, etc) as well as a web browser and other internet Services."
It sounds far-fetched at first glance, but most of these technologies already exist; all it needs is a car maker prepared to invest in the idea. I'd love to see Nimbus's driving in the real world.
And now a world tour: