McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT), the sister company of the Formula One team, has unveiled a futuristic concept car that we probably wont see on the track until 2050.
That is quite some time to wait for the all-electric vehicle currently named the 2050: MCLExtreme. The McLaren team collected opinions from its F1 fans in order to come up with ideas for the model “which features an on-board artificial intelligence co-pilot, an electric battery that can be folded away and self-healing tyres,” says the Mail Online.
MAT hasn’t just thought about producing a futuristic car, its team has also given a great deal of thought to the way human driver performance may develop, what racing tracks might look like in 2050 and how the Formula 1 experience might have changed for fans of the sport.
The MCLExtreme is a 500km/h rear-wheel-drive electric car powered by a “foldable battery moulded to the aerodynamic package,” McLaren announced. Futuristic designs like this are nothing new for the firm, which has been working on way out ideas since 2015 when it released images and designs for its MP4-X.
In its press release for the MCLExtreme, McLaren said: “Staying true to the sport’s mission to be road relevant, we don’t expect race cars to fly by 2050. Flying road cars equals more aerial congestion, more noise pollution and probably more accidents.” It also added a topical note, saying, “If you think drone sightings at airports cause wide-scale disruption, well… you know the rest. With the emergence of high-speed underground transportation portals, such as Virgin Hyperloop One, building underground networks that shift large volumes of traffic in less time is more probable.”
It also appears that Formula One fans are not in favour of flying cars and race tracks in the air, and this has influenced McLaren’s approach.
The model also has contractible side-pods that alter depending on the natural conditions. McLaren said, “Taking inspiration from nature, the MCLE features sidepods that expand and contract like the gills of a great white shark,” adding, “They turn it into a 500 km/h bullet on the straights, but expand as the car enters braking zones and corners to provide stability and control.”
And, as might be expected, McLaren has given it lots of Artificial Intelligence (AI) features: “Drivers may be connected to AI via a symbiotic link in the helmet and sensors within the race suit. The AI learns and predicts the driver’s preferences and state-of-mind.”
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