Turns out, this is a sort of living room on wheels, one with an integrated steering-suspension mechanism that is smaller than having two separate systems, leaving more room to party and interact with the many touchscreens. There is a mini steering wheel, but it hides behind one of the comfy chairs when it is turned around to face the rest of the group. Since the car has autonomous driving capability, you might never need to look where you're going. Oh, and the Link And Go is all electric, and it was parked next to a robotic arm that can plug-in and unplug the charging cord. Why bother with wireless charging when you could install a giant mechanical arm in your garage?
The car, or whatever you want to call it, isn't meant to be anything close to a production vehicle so there aren't any details about battery size or top speed. Instead, this is more a collection of ideas and technologies that the engineers at Akka (funded by the Yvelines General Council to the tune of 1.3 million euros) developed and that could be licensed or sold to larger companies to put into production. In other words, this is pure concept, baby. Enjoy.
Lyon, 22nd February 2013 - AKKA Technologies unveils LINK&GO* for the first time in Paris. LINK & GO is an electric concept of the future, in which Yvelines General Council has invested €1.3M. A new opportunity for the engineers at the European engineering and technological consultancy group, AKKA, to be recognised for their know-how and their innovative solutions.
Using technology to rethink how the car is used
The challenge taken up by AKKA's teams, working with partners Inria (to automate the driving process), ControlSys and DBT (for the automatic charging system) was to make LINK & GO a self-driving, safe, urban, communicating, social vehicle.
LINK & GO is the first bimodal (manual and automatic modes) electric concept car: it can drive and park itself with or without a driver.
Intelligent and able to communicate, LINK & GO is the embodiment of a user-friendly new way of travelling. Among other things, the integrated connectivity encourages car sharing by linking the vehicle up to social networks. The modular features of the driver's seat means that the interior can be transformed into a "lounge" configuration for when the car is driving itself.
A concept car integrating and exploiting complex technological solutions
Lasers, a stereo camera, an inertial system and augmented reality are all technologies that are built in to the LINK & GO so that it can steer itself on specific roads or park in automatic mode.
Aware that interactive interfaces require gesture control more than a touch system, the AKKA engineers have already integrated these two technologies into the vehicle. The user manages the switchover to automatic mode and comfort functions (multimedia, connectivity etc.) using the touch screens and gesture recognition.
The teams chose a unique steering-suspension system with an ultra-compact solution replacing the two functions of steering and suspension. This technology increases the vehicle's manoeuvrability and improves its road holding.
Another major innovation is how simple and efficient the power charging process has become. There is no longer any need to get out of the car, as a robotic arm just plugs it in to the right place itself.
Packed with innovations by AKKA RESEARCH
LINK & GO fits in with the programmes initiated by the engineers at AKKA RESEARCH and is based on the technology and patents developed for the Astute Car* in 2010.
Because creativity is born from communication and sharing, AKKA RESEARCH brings together men and women, SMEs and large businesses, universities, research centres, other nations... AKKA Technologies demonstrates its ability to innovate by drawing on relationships between different sectors, the multi-disciplinary skills of its engineers and its commitment to coming up with groundbreaking new projects that take into account the future challenges of our clients.
Unveiled for the first time on 21st February 2013 in Paris, the LINK & GO prototype will then be presented at the Geneva Motor Show from 7th to 17th March 2013.
"We are proud of the quality of this project, as it is the result of collaborative efforts, the talents of our teams and of our partners. It also illustrates the relationships established between our French and German research centres, both of which have played an active part in the success of this project," explains Maurice Ricci, ceo of the AKKA Technologies Group.
The market leader in France and German in the Automotive and Aviation industries, AKKA Technologies now enjoys a unique position. Nearly 11,000 engineers, spread over 20 countries, guarantee solid know-how and long-term solutions to your projects and a commitment to ambition to serve our clients.
*Astute Car: The first electric concept car developed by engineers at AKKA's internal research centre, AKKA RESEARCH
About LINK & GO
In February 2012, the idea came about in response to the call for projects, "Intelligent vehicle – City of the future" organised by Yvelines General Council. Picked from 23 candidates with 3 other innovative projects, AKKA Technologies and its partners once again demonstrate the fact that innovation is at the heart of what they do.
About Yvelines General Council
A hub for automotive innovation, the department is home to the whole range of intellectual and technical skills needed to embark on the next urban revolution: that of clean, fluid, intelligent, economical and attractive transport.
Since 2009, Yvelines General Council has been wholeheartedly committed to a policy of supporting industry and automotive innovation. Calls for projects are at the centre of this policy. They give the selected companies the chance to create a working prototype and make real progress in their feasibility studies.
About AKKA Technologies
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Let's share our passion for technology."
AKKA Technologies, a European Engineering and Technology Consultancy Group, supports major industrial and service sector clients throughout the various phases of their projects, from R&D and design studies to industrial production. Expertise in a range of complementary fields means that AKKA Technologies can offer real added value to its clients in every market segment, including aviation, automotive, space/defence, consumer electronics, telecommunications, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, steel, energy, rail, marine and the service industry.
The market leader in Germany and France in the Automotive and Aviation industries, the mobility of its teams and its international position mean that AKKA Technologies works on projects at the cutting edge of technology all over the world.
The AKKA Technologies Group has over 11,000 employees and bases in 20 countries: Germany, Belgium, Canada, China, U.A.E., Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, India, Morocco, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Romania, the United Kingdom, Russia, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey and the U.S.A. AKKA is focusing on building a group of over €1 billion, 50% of which will be outside France.
AKKA Technologies is listed on EuronextTM Paris – Compartment B – Code ISIN: FR0004180537.
Indices CAC® Small, CAC® Mid & Small, CAC® All-Tradable, CAC® All-Share
More information at www.akka.eu