With the era of autonomous vehicles and smart urban grids nearly upon us, we've seen a lot of futuristic concept cars come down the notional turnpike in recent years. There's this one. And this one. And, a personal favorite, this one.
But nothing quite compares with the specimen that luxury automaker Rolls-Royce unveiled this week in London.
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Five feet tall and more than 20 feet in length, the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 is like a futuristic sci-fi monster of aggressive luxury. It's Rolls-Royce's vision of what conspicuous consumption ought to look like in 20 years or so.
Although the Vision Next 100 is just a concept for now, the automaker rolled out a prototype model at London's Roundhouse arts venue this week. The Vision is designed to be a 100-percent electric zero-emission vehicle, but with the V-8 weight and swagger we've come to expect from Rolls Royce. It's also meant to be fully autonomous, since the discerning motorist of the future would never deign to actually drive a car.
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In fact, the Vision will be operated by an artificial intelligence named Eleanor, named after the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy figurine that adorns all Rolls-Royce vehicles. As your digital chauffeur, valet, concierge and personal assistant, Eleanor will handle everything from navigating the city to confirming your dinner reservations.