The British luxury company envisions a future when your next Aston Martin could drive itself, or be part of a shared fleet of vehicles.
- Aston Martin is preparing for a future of shared vehicles and autonomous drive.
- The automaker believes self-drive technology could make driving safer and faster.
- Aston already has one electric vehicle on sale, the limited production Rapide E.
- The company is also developing luxury-themed flying vehicles.
Aston Martin is preparing for a future when your luxury vehicle might drive itself, take to the skies or, even more shocking, not be owned by anyone outright. Speaking earlier this summer at Driving the Future in London, Aston’s chief planning officer, Nikki Rimmington, said the supercar company is actively preparing for all avenues of new mobility solutions, including shared rides and autonomous drive.
The Lagonda Vision Concept combines an electric powertrain with a sharply-creased SUV-like shape. (Photo: Aston Martin)
As reported by Autocar, Rimmington believes a changing consumer landscape will accelerate how cars are used and enjoyed, even ones wearing a posh Aston Martin logo. “Attitudes are changing: for some, owning a car that sits there stationary, losing value most of the time is less desirable, and the prospect of getting in a car that might be a bit untidy from the previous occupant isn’t a deal-breaker. That could be a opportunity, ” said Rimmington.
In performance twist befitting a company that builds luxury vehicles with six-figure price tags, Rimmington hinted that advancements in self-driving technology could lead to faster cars and quicker drives, particularly for anyone living in or near a crowded city. “If you look at autonomy it opens up all sorts of possibilities, of which one of the most appealing is being able to get around faster if the systems are there to support it. Owners could live more remotely but travel in faster,” she explained.
The Aston Martin Volante Vision Concept is the automaker’s take on a self-driving flying machine. (Photo: Aston Martin)
Aston Martin has previously shown projects that explore future electric powertrains, as seen in the wedge-shaped Lagonda Vision Concept. First shown last year, this sub-brand of Aston Martin will have a production version of the Vision Concept by 2021. The show car was not only electric powered, it also included Level 4 autonomy (one step short of anytime and anywhere self-driving) and a steering wheel that swings side-to-side in the cockpit, for markets with left- or right-hand drive.
Aston has also looked into the burgeoning field of Vertical Take-Off and Landing vehicles, or VTOLs for short. Looking a cross between a small helicopter and drone, these flying machines could transport people via electric power and self-driving systems. While purely a design concept, the Volante Vision Concept was developed between Aston Martin, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, and Rolls-Royce. With seating for three adults onboard, this sleek flying machine looks like something out of a James Bond film.
Speaking at the time of the Volante Vision Concept’s reveal last summer, Aston Martin president and CEO Dr. Andy Palmer called it “the ultimate luxury mobility solution.”
WHY THIS MATTERS
No car company can afford to be caught napping when it comes to exploring different avenues of mobility and transportation. Aston Martin isn’t kicking back and relying only on an upper-crust pedigree to meet the demands of tomorrow’s luxury car market.