SHANGHAI -- Having just declared its goal of hitting 1 million vehicle sales in China by 2020, Chevrolet revealed a futuristic concept car here meant to showcase its technical prowess to young Chinese buyers.
The FNR concept, an acronym for the brand’s “Find New Roads” theme, is a pod-like, science-fiction inspired autonomous electric vehicle. Its “dragonfly” dual-swing doors have drawn a steady stream of onlookers at Chevy’s 38,000 square-foot stand at the auto show.
Developed by GM’s Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center, a joint venture with Chinese partner SAIC Motor, the concept shows how automakers increasingly are exploring the possibilities created by autonomous technology.
The FNR has magnetic, in-wheel electric motors and can be charged wirelessly. It's equipped with sensors and a roof-mounted radar to map the route for driverless operation. It can be driven in either manual or self-driving mode, which allows the front seats to swivel 180 degrees to face the rear seats.
Global Chevy chief Alan Batey, who introduced the car at a garish gala Sunday night attended by roughly 1,000 media members and other invitees, said sensors can be used to monitor the driver’s biometrics and switch to autonomous mode if the car detects driver fatigue.
The car “reaffirms Chevrolet’s commitment to offer electric vehicles that meet customers lifestyles,” Batey told the audience, comprised mostly of 20- and 30-something Chinese.
He said it’s “just the start of our efforts to meet the transportation efforts of the future,” and that GM is exploring the technological capabilities outlined in the FNR.