Right now, Tesla pretty much owns the electric performance car market. Sure, there are other EVs from BMW, Nissan, Kia and Ford, but ask someone to name a “cool electric car” and they’re likely to mention the Tesla Model S. Ask them to name a self-driving electric car, and they’ll have to mention the Tesla, because there’s pretty much no other such car on the road, and even the Tesla’s aren’t fully autonomous.
Nio (previously called NextEV), are aiming to change all of that, and if the Nio Eve is any indication, they may be giving Tesla a ride for their money as soon as 2020.
The concept car, unveiled just this week at SXSW, has an onboard artificial intelligence bot called Nomi that not only drives for you, but also learns passengers’ driving and route preferences over time. Nomi even uses an on-windscreen heads-up display to inform passengers about route options, destination information and important car alerts.
If that’s not enough, the interior of the car is set up not just for driving mode, but also a more leisurely auto-pilot mode complete with lounging chairs and tables. It also sports sliding doors and a massive panoramic sun / moonroof.
If you’re thinking this car will never see the road in your lifetime, chances are you’d be wrong. The company behind the car has already shown off an electric sports car called the EP9 that can do 0-60 in 2.7 seconds and has a top speed of 194 miles-per hour, complete with a range of 265 miles.
Here’s the company’s own futuristic language on what they say they’ll deliver by 2020:
“In 2015, commuters in the U.S. spent over 8 billion hours in their cars commuting. 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. We look forward to producing the first of the next generation of cars for the U.S. consumer. We know you will be delighted by NIO.”
No word on cost yet, but it’ll probably cost more than a Honda.