Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) from Denso and MIT
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) from Denso and MIT
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) from Denso and MIT on stage at CES 2016.
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) from Denso and MIT
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) from Denso and MIT
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) from Denso and MIT rear 3/4 view.
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) from Denso and MIT
  • The PEV, from Denso and MIT
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) from Denso and MIT
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) from Denso and MIT
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) front view
  • A head-on view of the Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) from Denso and MIT. CES 2016
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV)
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV)
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV)
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV)
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV)
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV)
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) wireless charging platform
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) wireless charging platform
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) wireless charging platform
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV)
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV)
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV)
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) interior
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) interior
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) interior
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) interior
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) interior
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) interior
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) information plaque
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) information plaque
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) information plaque: "Taking an initial step towards autonomous cars, MIT and DENSO partnered to evaluate current technology capabilities on a persuasive electric vehicle. This vehicle is intended to give the user a glimpse into fully autonomous vehicles in urban environments."
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) information plaque
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) information plaque
  • Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) information plaque showing emission and miles-traveled reductions.
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
The white, pod-covered electric bicycle thing you see above is working hard to convince you of something. The message here is that autonomous vehicles are not scary. In fact, they're quite practical and can help the planet. Meet the Persuasive Electric Vehicle.

Designed at MIT and on display at the Denso booth at CES 2016 this week, the PEV is something of a thought experiment. It combines three things that research scientists Kent Larson and Michael Lin think the new generation of urban vehicles need: ability to share, an electric powertrain, and autonomous drive. As the PEV's information plaque puts it: "Taking an initial step towards autonomous cars, MIT and DENSO partnered to evaluate current technology capabilities on a persuasive electric vehicle. This vehicle is intended to give the user a glimpse into fully autonomous vehicles in urban environments."

The idea is that this vehicle looks and acts harmless. It moves through the city in bike lanes. It can help itself in a bike-sharing program by moving itself to the places where demand is highest. It can also be used to deliver things through a city. But, while all of these aspects sound nice, the truth is that the PEV is a fanciful project for now. There are no specs for battery capacity or range that anyone at the Denso booth wanted to share with us. Still, as one more way to introduce people to self-driving EVs, it's got that special something. See more in the video below that features some of the underlying tech without the special white covering.


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