An in-car simulator designed to help children learn to drive long before they are old enough for a provisional license has won a competition to find the future of in-car technology.
Last year we reported on Citroen’s competition to find the best new idea for car technology and, according to the manufacturer, it was inundated with over 800 entries from across the world.
The competition was named an ‘Idea Contest’ and both the winning entry and the runner-up were focused not on drivers, but on child passengers in the car.
The winning entry was designed by Wouter Van Vugt, a Dutch graphic designer and is labelled ‘Junior Driver’.
The technology is designed to project a 3D image of the road ahead into the passenger section of the car. A simulator then allows a child to ‘drive’ the same route as the actual car and in the process, the child can learn to drive ‘in the real world’ without actually getting behind the wheel.
The second-place entry was a Citroen Baby Care package fitted into the car as an extra option and including essentials such as a bottle heater and musical mobile.
In third place, the entry was much more about driver comfort. ‘Cocoon’ involves adding massages, lights and scented air fresheners to create a spa-like experience in the car.
While it may not be advisable to become too relaxed behind the wheel of a car, the idea is not something that is completely irrelevant.
In fact, Renault is plotting to launch a similar package in its Renault Zoe supermini, an electric car featuring a climate control system inspired by a spa which can keep the air hydrated and help the driver’s complexion.
It also features air vents to block out diesel fuels from other vehicles and can release ‘essential oils’ into the cabin to create certain ‘moods’ in the cabin.
The future of new car technology? If the leading French car makers are anything to go by, it’s all about the kids – with a little pampering on the side.